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Teachable Moment: Hillary's Book Bombs

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Mrs. Clinton's book, it was just last Tuesday, one week ago on this program, that I said I don't think things are going as well with her book as they had planned.  I said that's just my first take, but based on things I'm seeing in the news it's still number two on Amazon, despite having the whole Drive-By Media behind it.  It's already been marked down to 40%.  Standard operating procedure is to mark down to 30%, anywhere from 15 to 30%.  Forty percent, the first week of a book, big book like this, not common.  And so we had this e-mail that was released yesterday from a source inside Simon & Schuster, the publisher.  They've only sold 60,000 books. 

Now, stop and think.  I think, folks, that this is a teachable moment.  Here you have Simon & Schuster, New York publishing house, obviously caught up in the New York-Washington political axis, and in that world Mrs. Clinton is the biggest thing going. It was a big coup to get her and her book on her time as secretary of state.  They paid her a $14 million advance, from the woman that was dead broke a few short years ago.  They paid her $14 million.  They needed 150,000 hardcover sales the first week.  They got 60.

But the thing is, Mrs. Clinton was the beneficiary of $50 million of free advertising with all the networks talking about it and interviewing her. And tonight Fox is orgasming over the fact that they've got her on two different shows.  They've got her on Bret Baier's show at 6:45 and then they've got her on Greta Van Susteren's show at seven.  So she's gonna do 15 minutes with Bret Baier, and 15 minutes with Greta.  She's all over CNN.  She's all over everywhere and still can't get to number one on Amazon.  The highest she got there was number two, which kind of makes me think that she might not have even really gotten there. 

The point is that when Simon & Schuster signed the deal with her, they were beside themselves.  They thought they had the biggest publishing event in who knows how many years. They're sending press releases out and letters and, oh, my God, they were so happy. They were thanking each other and thanking themselves and praising everyone, oh, what a great thing.  Everybody's gonna want to read this, and nobody cares.  And they don't know that nobody cares. 

They're not in the business of throwing $14 million away.  Now, it is possible that people would like to buy access, invitations to parties, who knows.  There's all kinds of reasons why businesses do what they do now.  You go back and listen to Leslie Moonves about hiring the Letterman replacement, Colbert. They hire Colbert and Leslie Moonves says it's not about ratings, and it's not about selling ads.  It's about bragging rights.  Okay.  So Moonves wanted to be able to strut around and say, "I got the hippest guy in comedy, and I got him, and he's replacing Letterman. I don't care if anybody watches. I got the hippest guy.  We don't sell on ratings in late-night, it doesn't matter if anybody watches."  It doesn't? 

Okay.  So if you're Simon & Schuster and Hillary's a big get, the bragging rights are getting her, $14 million, that's what it took. You amortize it somewhere else.  You have to.  You're not gonna make that back on this book.  So they gotta make it back somewhere else somehow.  They do want to make it back, but maybe that's not why they spent the 14.  Maybe they spent the 14 just for access. Hillary's cool, Hillary's hip, Hillary's the hottest thing going, they think. 

Fifty-five percent the American people think that she's lying about Benghazi, think she mishandled it.  Sixty-one percent think that about Obama.  The disconnect, to me, is stunning.  And people who are in the business, you would think, you know, being able to relate to, understand customers, American customers, people who buy books.  You would think there would be some innate understanding.  And there's none.  There's a total belief in the buzz and the PR, and the Clinton name, that it's magic and it's gonna result in what?  Millions of copies sold?  Who believed this? 

Now even with $50 million of free advertising, and not just free, but puff piece advertising.  Mrs. Clinton is being lauded and celebrated and puff pieced all over the place.  She just had one somewhat tough interview on NPR, which doesn't cancel out all of the fawning stuff that she's gotten. 

And my point, if you'll recall, is a quite, I think, salient point.  Why does she need any publicity?  This is Mrs. Hillary Clinton.  She's the biggest, smartest woman in America, maybe the smartest woman in the world.  She may be the first female president. She's secretary of state, first lady, why does she need a dime of promotion?  Why, I would think Mrs. Clinton has a built-in audience that couldn't wait to buy her book, but apparently not. 

And who didn't know that?  The people who are in business to know that didn't know that nobody cares.  And even the people buying the book aren't gonna read it.  And you know why?  Because nobody believes what's in it is true.  Nobody believes that Mrs. Clinton's really gonna tell us what did or didn't happen in Benghazi in this book and nobody believes that she's gonna dish dirt on Obama, talk about what really happened.  It's just gonna be more press secretary type stuff.  So in effect what does she get out of all of it?  Well, she gets $14 million and she gets the publisher paying for the kickoff to her campaign.  She gets the publisher to pay for the kickoff of her own campaign. 

Look, this is embarrassing.  This is Hillary Clinton. And to have it out there now from an inside source at Simon & Schuster that this book is a bomb?  You know, books, in a way -- not always, but some, like movies, you better show up big the first weekend or you're in trouble.  If you don't go boffo box office the first weekend with a movie, you got some problems.  It's different from book to book.  (interruption)  Why are you looking at me?  Well, why not?  Two books in the top five.  Children's list, New York Times, going on 30 weeks.  I've gotten not one dime of free media from anybody.  Well, I take it back.  Fox & Friends might have mentioned it, but I haven't done any interviews. I haven't gone anywhere. There hasn't been any significant time. I haven't promoted it other than here. I haven't gone out and done appearances, none of that. 

There hasn't been any fawning coverage of me.  Some of the coverage, some of the reviews have been good.  I must admit that.  Some of the reviews have actually been good, truthful, and honest, in local papers around the country.  But nowhere near the kind of rollout that average authors and nowhere near what Mrs. Clinton has done here.  But my point always has been why does she need this?  If you believe the prepub, if you believe all of this image, buzz, and PR that this is the smartest woman and everybody's behind her and everybody wants her to be great and everybody wants her to become president, the first female, all this, she ought to have a built-in audience just clamoring lining up to buy the book just with the knowledge it's on sale that day, not because they're watching TV and can told or convinced or persuaded to go buy it.  If they have to do that to get people to buy this book, it's already a failure, if you ask me. 

But that's just my observation.  I've always found it weird.  Well, no.  I haven't found it weird.  The fact that the people inside that New York-Washington bubble have no clue how the vast majority of people in this country actually perceive -- I mean the woman lost her own coronation.  How do you lose your own coronation?  The 2008 Democrat nomination was hers.  It was coronation.  She wasn't even gonna have to compete, and out of the blue came a better looking, more preferable minority and the Democrats were conflicted, oh, my God, what do we do now?  A black versus a woman.  Oh, no.  So they went for the young, good-looking guy. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Utica, New York.  Hi, Joe.  You're on first today.  Welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER:  Oh, wonderful.  I was born a Democrat but have been a conservative all my life.  As far as Hillary is concerned, that $14 million? That's an under-the-table contribute to her campaign.  She's certainly not going to make the money on her book.

RUSH:  Look, it could well be.  I'm not going to level that kind of allegation when I don't know it.  It's easier just to focus on (sigh) misguided competence.  Look, the publishing industry is, like most other industries, dominated by liberals and leftists. And there's no doubt that there's a lot of love in all the publishing houses for Hillary Clinton, and $14 million at the end of the year is a rounding error on the P&L because Simon Schuster's owned by CBS. 

So there are any number of ways to make that $14 million disappear.  What gets me -- and I know that Joe's point is, "Rush, you're missing the point. They didn't invest thinking they were gonna sell tons of books." Yes, they did.  They might also be investing in her campaign.  They might also be doing all that under-the-table stuff, and she might be using them and that $14 million to kick off her campaign.

But at the same time, do not believe that they didn't think the book was gonna just jump off the shelves.  (interruption) You really...? You're looking me. Do you really think they knew they had a dud and didn't care?  No, of course they didn't.  They thought this was gonna be big.  They wanted it to be.  Now, if Bill had a book and the title of that was Hard Choices with the foreword by Monica Lewinsky, then maybe you might have a book that would walk itself off the shelves. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know what the Clintons are missing?  It's a humility gene.  There really is no humility.  As such, for anybody who has no humility -- if you're not humble -- you cannot possibly honestly assess how people think of you.  Now, in Mrs. Clinton's world, that's important.  I think the Clintons believe -- and by the way, if you were in their shoes, it'd be tough not to do this yourself. 

If you got nothing but fawning love, adulation, adoration for everything that you do for 25 or 30 years, you would begin to believe it, too.  You'd begin to believe that you're pretty hot stuff, and if you stop and look at the treatment the Clintons get, they were protected, they were built up.  Bill Clinton is the biggest star in the Democrat Party today.  He's a bigger draw, bigger star, more popular than even Barack Obama is -- and, I think, ever was.

But he still is. If that had happened to you, and you didn't have a good grounding when you were raised, and you didn't have any humility? (snorts) You'd buy all of it, too.  You'd buy it, too, and you'd think the world loved you and adored you, except maybe a couple people at Fox that don't like you. Maybe some people on talk radio don't like you, but elsewhere you are loved. 

So you don't understand. When the Benghazi thing happens, if you're Hillary, you don't understand.  That's why she says, "What difference does it make now?"  You know, what she's really saying is, "Why do you care?  It's over with!  We dealt with it.  It was the video.  Why do you care?"  That's lack of humility, and maybe hubris as well.  But, you know, the thing is we never really do get over the Clintons and what they do.

The Drive-Bys do, but the majority of the American people don't.  For example, look. Just a month ago Monica Lewinsky pops up all over again, and all the finger pointing and lying came streaming back to the American consciousness.  Everybody that was alive back then remembered everything that happened.  It was in contrast to the fawning building up, the puff-piece treatment that the Clintons get. 

Here came this woman that they literally destroyed.  I think, by the same token, Benghazi is never going to go away for her.  She thinks that she can make it go away by writing a book.  (Actually a ghostwritten book.)  But she thinks that she can make it go away and make people forget it, especially now that we've captured their militia leader.  But it's never going to go away for her. 

The bottom line is Hillary Clinton left Americans to die, and then lied about it. Regardless who was killing them, she left Americans to die and lied about it and then compounded all that by saying, "What difference does it make?"  That's the kind of stuff that sticks with you.  There would be no need to capture this guy, if she'd done her job in the first place.  So the idea that this is the smartest woman ever and the most competent and all?

I have never bought into that.  It's groupthink extraordinaire that makes people believe this, and I know how powerful groupthink is.  I've never wanted to be a party to it.  If I spot groupthink, I make sure I'm not in that group.  Same thing with conventional wisdom.  But, seriously. So you give her $14 million.  Oh.  Oh.  Further evidence that there were great expectations for this book.

This secret source inside Simon & Schuster says that they printed one million hard copies and shipped them to bookstore prior to the June 10 publication date.  So if they went to press on a million books, they sure as hell thought they were gonna sell more than 60,000 the first week.  This inside source says given this tepid launch, they're gonna lucky to sell 150,000 total in the lifetime of the book. 

And then the source said, "Look, it's a bomb, but it'll be interesting to see how they spin it," and they will spin it, and it's not gonna be spun as a bomb.  It'll end up, when all is said and done, that the low-information crowd's gonna think this is the biggest book that's ever been published by a woman in the world.  What will make them believe it is all of this media that she is getting. 

"Huh. You don't get that kind of media attention unless you're really big and loved and popular and something's going on."  People will be able to be made to believe that.  We'll just see. They'll find other ways to spin it.  "Well, you know, it was a book written for a very narrow, highly educated, highly informed, specialized audience.  We never really expected it to be a mass-appeal book.  No, no, no."  Things like that will be used to explain it away.  

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