An alternative motivation

AN ALTERNATIVE MOTIVATION…. So, why has Dick Cheney been so desperate to hit the airwaves as part of his crusade against the White House? Explanations differ, but his desire to sell a memoir to publishers might have at least something to do with his efforts.

With his sustained blitz of television appearances and speeches, former Vice President Dick Cheney has established himself as perhaps the leading Republican voice against President Obama.

Not a bad time, then, to be in the market for a multimillion-dollar book contract…. A person familiar with discussions Mr. Cheney has had with publishers said he was seeking more than $2 million for his advance. That sum may prove hard to get in this economic climate, especially given his generally low approval ratings, which publishers view as a potential — but not certain — harbinger for sales.

Reports indicate Cheney may end up with a deal with Simon & Schuster, because it’s home to an imprint run by Mary Matalin, who is also publishing Karl Rove’s book.

This might offer at least some hints about Cheney’s recent motivations. A book written by a failed former vice president may not compel publishers to pay the big bucks, but a book written by one of the leaders of the modern Republican Party, and the GOP’s leading attack dog of the nation’s elected leadership, might generate a more sizable advance.

What I don’t quite understand is why anyone would expect Cheney’s book to be successful. After all, the former vice president has a well-deserved reputation for almost comical dishonesty. Who’s going to pony up $29.95 for a book written by someone who routinely blurs the line between fact and fiction?

If Cheney were prepared to write a juicy tell-all, with fascinating behind-the-scenes insights, it might have a better shot at becoming a best seller. But it seems unlikely that the secretive former vice president would reveal anything that would make his administration look bad.

And then there’s the matter of yet another Bushie writing yet another book about a period most Americans are anxious to leave in the past. For eight years, every decision Cheney made turned out to be wrong, if not completely disastrous. How many book buyers will want to relive the Bush years through Cheney’s eyes?