Hillary Clinton is have a very so-so summer. Not only has she gotten some very bad press for her repeated pleas of poverty, but it looks like her book, Hard Choices looks like it’s merely going to be a best seller, as opposed to the publishing wonder that was her first memoir Living History. Also reviews for Hard Choices have been largely mixed dampening her exhaustive book tour.
But there could be a few reasons why Clinton’s latest effort may be disappointing, including:
- Clinton fatigue: Let’s be honest, she’s been in the news constantly for the past twenty years or so – first as first lady, then as senator, then as a presidential candidate, and finally as a globe-trotting diplomat. Her publicity tour for Hard Choices might simply be the culmination of some severe over exposure and Clinton fatigue.
- Unrealistic expectations due to Living History. Michael Jackson had Thriller and Bill Cosby had The Cosby Show; Clinton’s first memoir was so successful (setting sales records at the time), that it seemed improbable that she’d be able to top it. It’s a nice problem to have, though.
- All this talk of a Clinton presidency is premature. While there’s no doubt that Clinton would be a fantastic candidate for 2016, all of this babble of Clinton’s presumptive nomination is feeling awfully familiar.
- Clinton’s first book dealt with what was one of the most salacious political scandals in modern history: Lewinskygate. While most bought her book to read about her thoughts and her life, many bought it to get dishy first-hand accounts of what happened behind the scenes when President Clinton’s future looked shaky. The bulk of Hard Choices deals with Clinton’s views on policy as well as her thoughts on foreign policy – something most Americans can’t get too excited about. Some may have hoped that Hard Choices would’ve been a burn book about President Obama, with Clinton airing all of her resentment over their bitter primary battle, but the book firmly aligns itself with her “loyal soldier” routine.
All is not lost – even though it’s pretty much a given that Hard Choices will fall short of the million-copy sales of Living History, there are still foreign markets out there that may be receptive to Clinton’s tales of her travels. And conservatives who are crowing triumphantly about Clinton’s sales dip should remember that Sarah Palin’s follow up to Going Rogue, America by Heart also failed to live up to those sales. So Hard Choices‘s sales could simply be part of a publishing trend, but magnified because of Clinton’s high profile (not to mention her reportedly massive advance).