Mitt Romney may have fallen short in his last presidential bid, but his book is officially a winner. No Apology: The Case for American Greatness drops on March 21 and is already topping that week’s New York Times Bestseller list, continuing the trend of hit conservative nonfiction books and drawing comparisons to his potential 2012 opponent Sarah Palin.
CNN is reporting that the success of the book in pre-orders has also been followed by crowded book signings and cross-country appearances. It’s quite a success for a potential presidential candidate who has been out of office and out of the limelight for some time, and is returning selling what very much sounds like his campaign platform in a hardcover spine, with some personal anecdotes in between.
It’s also somewhat shocking considering the lengths to which others with similar successes have had to go to promote themselves and their book. Going Rogue is one thing: its author is one of the most polarizing figures in the nation and preceded her book release with an unrelenting barrage of press coverage. Plus, her former son-in-law-to-be was helping her greatly by lying to the American people about the extent of his nudity in a Playgirl shoot (and occasionally taking jabs at the former governor). The media attention behind the release of Sarah Palin’s memoir was the perfect political storm.
Romney’s path to success is much quieter. Outside of getting punched in the face in an airplane by someone marginally related to Jersey Shore and having his CPAC speech overshadowed by a two-pronged Beck/Breitbart conservative firestorm, the Romney team has been rather quiet. He hasn’t been polling terribly great, but he’s certainly in the running, and has kept himself in the news cycle with periodic appearances without saturating the market with his product. He has also been making appearances on his book tour, campaigning with the people without actually having to admit that that’s precisely what he’s doing. And he’s become much more humorous and likable, and whether he has legitimately lightened up or his campaign team told him his lack of personality was a deal-breaker for American voters, it seems to have been working. People want to hear what he has to say. While it’s unclear whether this newfound popularity would translate into votes this year, Romney is going to have to extend his appeal anyway into 2012 if he wants to be a viable Republican candidate.
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