EXCLUSIVE: Obama's $500,000 book bonanza
Deal reached 5 days before he took office
As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows.
Analysts say there don't appear to be any rules that would bar such transactions after a president takes office, but it's unclear whether an incoming or sitting president has ever signed a book deal upon entering the White House.
The book deal came on top of nearly $2.5 million in book royalties paid to Mr. Obama last year for "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," according to the Senate report, which was filed by Robert F. Bauer, who served general counsel to Mr. Obama's presidential campaign.
Yesterday's Headlines: (Cue shimmery fadeout effect and spooky going back in time music)
From a House Ethics investigation report, spurred on by Democrat anger over Newt Gingrich's book deal....from the congressional record. The speaker is Joe Moakley, liberal democrat from South Boston on Dec 22 1995.
Mr Moakley: The Ethics Committee made a very strong statement in their report. I want to take this time to read a section of the ethics committee report, and I quote:
"Existing rules permit a member to reap significant and immediate financial benefits appearing to be based primarily on his or her position."
Mr Moakley: At a minimum, this creates the impression of exploiting one’s office for personal gain. Such a perception is especially troubling when it pertains to the office of the Speaker of the House, a constitutional office requiring the highest standards of ethical behavior.
I guess the loophole today is that while the Office of the President is also a constitutional office, no one today is under the impression that it requires the highest standards of ethical behavior anymore.