Federal Politics

Published — April 20, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Obama beats Biden in book royalties


The big news from the Obamas’ tax returns — that our president raked in nearly $2.5 million in book sales last year — comes as no surprise. This is actually a drop from the previous year, when he noted almost $4.1 million in royalties. (The drop is a result of the fact that the books were in paperback in 2008, which returned a lot less money than the hardcover edition.)

But Veep Joe Biden wrote a campaign book, too, didn’t he? Biden’s book, which was initially released back in 2007, enjoyed a stint on the bestseller list just after Obama chose him as a running mate. But judging from Biden’s tax returns, it looks like he didn’t meet with the same literary success as his boss. Biden’s primary source of income came from his Senate seat and he lists no revenue from book sales for 2008 (though he did make $71,000 in royalties on the book in 2007).

Biden’s return does note that he made just under $10,000 in royalties for the audio rights to his book. But even in that realm, Jabbering Joe probably won’t garner the same attention Obama did for his audio book. There was something of a Web-based brouhaha stemming from Obama, who narrates the audio version of his memoir, reading aloud a quote from a friend, which includes some decidedly “unpresidential” language. The language in Biden’s memoir is a little less colorful.

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