Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Well, now I think we have a fairly definitive answer to the Rush Limbaugh question Mark Halperin quoted approvingly last month, during Dick Cheney's Self-Justification and McCarthyism Tour:

What motivates Dick Cheney?

... What motivation does Dick Cheney have to go out and say these things? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is motivated by national interest? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is motivated by love of and for his country? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is speaking from his heart and is not speaking politically?

In a word, no.

We knew Cheney had mentioned writing a book, and then, less than two weeks after that Limbaugh broadcast, The New York Times reported that Cheney was actively shopping for a book deal. And then, at a certain point, you'll notice Cheney stopped showing up on your TV every two hours. Clearly he felt he'd hyped himself enough, and it was time to do some dealmaking. Now that process is over -- but I'm not sure he got what he wanted:

As widely expected, Vice President Dick Cheney has signed a deal with an imprint of Simon & Schuster to write a memoir about his life in politics and his service in four presidential administrations

A spokesman for Simon & Schuster said Mr. Cheney would write a book for Threshold Editions, where Mary Matalin, his close friend and adviser, is editor in chief.

Mr. Cheney ... had been looking for a publisher for about two months....

A person familiar with the negotiations said Mr. Cheney would receive around $2 million for his book. The spokesman for Simon & Schuster declined to comment.

Hmmm ... he signed with his ex-adviser's imprint, "[a]s widely expected," but he "had been looking for a publisher for about two months"? Sounds as if Matalin's imprint (also the publisher of books by Cheney's wife and daughter) was always the fallback, but he was hoping for a bidding war, and possibly a lot more money. (He's being paid a princely sum, if the Times report is correct, but note that he got only twice as much as his little-known daughter Mary received a few years ago for her book, which turned out to be a huge flop.)

Oh well -- at least this is settled, and now that he doesn't have to be a walking book proposal, maybe he'll shut up for a while.

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