Deal reached 5 days before he took office
Jim McElhatton and Christina Bellantoni, THE WASHINGTON TIMESThursday, March 19, 2009
The terms of the book deal were disclosed in a Senate financial disclosure report filed Tuesday.
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.
"I don't recall any sitting president entering into a book deal," said campaign finance lawyer Jan Baran, former general counsel to the Republican National Committee. "They all have historically done that after they leave office.
"I recall the only ones who did sign book deals while living there were first ladies, and my recollection is they gave it to charity."
Mr. Obama approved the $500,000 advance on Jan. 15. The advance is against royalties under a deal with Crown Publishing, a division of Random House. The project calls for an abridged version of his book "Dreams From My Father" for middle-school-aged children, according to the disclosure.