Disclosures: Obama and Reid Books Trumped McCain's
Updated 5:46 p.m.
By Dan Eggen
Barack Obama not only beat John McCain at the ballot box last year, he also crushed him in the bookstores.
McCain reported earning $20,539 in royalties last year from two of his books that were on the shelves during his GOP presidential run: "Character is Destiny" from 2005 and "Faith of My Fathers" from 1999, according to new financial disclosure forms released by the Senate today.The Arizona senator donated the proceeds to charity, according to the reports.
The royalty numbers for McCain stand in stark contrast to President Obama, who reported earning about $2.6 million last year from the sales of his two books, "The Audacity of Hope" from 2006 and "Dreams From My Father" from 1995. Those royalties came on top of $4.1 million in book income in 2007, placing Obama among the ranks of nation's highest-earning nonfiction authors. Both books have since dropped from the top of the nonfiction bestseller lists, but continue to sell briskly.
McCain reports no royalty income at all for his three other major books: 2007's "Hard Call," 2004's "Why Courage Matters" (2004) and 2002's "Worth the Fighting For." All of McCain's books have been co-authored with Mark Salter, the senator's longtime aide and confidante.
McCain's relatively low royalty numbers have a number of possible explanations, including the fact that his latest book was first released as his campaign was running into serious trouble and that royalty payments are not usually distributed by calendar year. McCain also shares proceeds from his book with his co-author.
Nonetheless, to add insult to injury, McCain was also beat out in the royalties race by another prominent Democrat: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) reported $136,000 in income from "The Good Fight," which was released in May 2008.
Posted at 2:54 PM ET on Jun 12, 2009
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