News & Politics

Palins Get Ready to Spill

Alaska’s Republican governor, Sarah Palin, has retained DC Democratic power player Robert Barnett to sell her presumed memoir of the 2008 campaign. The expected seven-figure book advance will make it easier for Palin to pay for travel to the “lower 48” for political events and then a presidential run.

The book could put Palin into a 2012 race with President Obama, who used the same lawyer and the same strategy—a big advance and a book—in part to back his early campaign efforts.

During the 2008 Democratic campaign, Barnett represented Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Edwards, and 2012 could turn into another Barnett-vs.-Barnett race.

The Palin account could turn out to be very lucrative for Barnett. In addition to the advance he’s expected to get for the Alaska governor, Barnett also may try to sell a book for her daughter, Bristol Palin, who recently gave an interview to Fox News host Greta Van Susteren about the burdens of teen pregnancy.

A political-daughter book wouldn’t be a first for Barnett; he convinced publishers to give Mary Cheney a sizable advance for a book about her life in Republican politics as a lesbian, and he sold Jenna Bush’s young-adult book. He also once sold a compilation of letters to Socks and Buddy, the Clintons’ late pets.

This article first appeared in the April 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.

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