The success of Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming apparently has Barack Obama feeling a lot of pressure for his own forthcoming memoir. Of course, his memoir has yet to be finished, and its release has been pushed back to 2020 or even 2021. “The writing has been going more slowly than he’d expected,” reports The Atlantic. “And according to several people who have spoken with him, the 44th president is feeling competitive with his wife, whose own book, Becoming, was the biggest release of 2018 and is on track to be the best-selling memoir in history.”
Wow, that’s sad.
His unfinished and yet-to-be-titled book will be his third memoir and will cover his political career from his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech through his presidency. The former first couple received a combined $65 million for their post-White House memoirs. His insecurity and competitiveness, while laughable, isn’t even the best part of the report.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, like others in this story, these sources note he’ll occasionally point out in conversation that he’s writing this book himself, while Michelle used a ghostwriter. [emphasis mine]
It’s really sad that Barack Obama feels so insecure and competitive about his forthcoming book that he feels the need to point out that Michelle didn’t actually write her bestselling memoir. Did anyone really think she wrote it herself anyway? Why would Barack feel the need to throw her under the bus like that?
Obama’s procrastination has complicated the eventual release of the memoir, according to the report.
Dropping the book this year would have helped Obama largely avoid the current political calendar, and a 2020 release threatens to affect the primaries and the party’s campaign against Donald Trump by re-litigating decisions made a decade ago. Another option is to hold it until 2021, when Obama could be either the voice of a party in despair after another defeat, or poised to grab the spotlight from a freshly elected Democratic president.
It sounds like Game of Thrones fans may get a new novel from George R.R. Martin before Obama finishes his memoir. But, I guess it just takes time to write fantasy. I suspect that Obama’s new memoir will be like Game of Thrones from Joffrey’s perspective. Barack Obama already claims to have had a scandal-free administration, so one can only imagine the fictions he’s planning to push as facts in his new memoir.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis