Saturday, November 08, 2008

No-one is interested in Bush's memoirs.

When politicians leave office, they write their memoirs. It's their chance to put their side of the story and bank about ten million in the process. However, the Bush presidency has been such a colossal failure that there is almost zero interest in hearing what he has to say about the miserable eight years that he inflicted on the US and the rest of the world.

In less than three months, President-elect Barack Obama will take office and the Bush administration will belong to history. With the president reportedly interested in writing about his White House years, publishers have a suggestion:

Take your time.

"If I were advising President Bush, given how the public feels about him right now, I think patience would probably be something that I would encourage," says Paul Bogaards, executive director of publicity for Alfred A. Knopf, which in 2004 released Bill Clinton's million-selling "My Life."

"Certainly the longer he waits, the better," says Marji Ross, president and publisher of the conservative Regnery Publishing, which is more likely to take on anti-Obama books in the next few years than any praises of Bush.

Publishers feel that books about Obama, negative ones to please the conservative base, will sell better than any memoir from Bush.

That's extraordinary. I've never seen anyone consigned to the rubbish heap of history as quickly as Bush. Even conservative loons are thought to be uninterested in what he has to say.

And, ironically, it is also the disrespect that Bush showed for other nations which is influencing the publishers decisions.

"I don't think Bush can get the kind of money Clinton did if only because the foreign rights interest will be considerably less," says Jonathan Karp, whose Twelve imprint at the Hachette Book Group USA published "Hard Call," the latest book by Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"President Bush is perceived as a unilateral cowboy who didn't respect other nations. So there's a shortfall overseas."
One of the reasons that Clinton was able to negotiate such a huge financial remuneration for his book was that he left office, despite the Lewinsky scandal, a hugely popular president. By contrast, Bush limps out of office as the most unpopular president in modern history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as president.

"No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup Poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.

And deservedly so. Bush was a dreadful president, appalling to a degree that few of us thought possible. The truth is that there aren't even enough loons on the right willing to listen to what he has to say to make a memoir of his profitable.

That's a stunning condemnation of his time in office.

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