The buzz this week is about "The Book." There are stories galore.
I read that former president Clinton's 957-page book fell on a customer's foot in a store, and the customer is now suing Clinton for $10 million for not labeling the weight of the book on the cover. He is also suing his doctor for $10 million for malpractice because he put the cast on the wrong foot.
The breakdown of buyers is as follows: 80 percent liberals and 5 percent conservatives are buying the book. The rest are independents who say they will wait until it comes out in paperback.
People who like Hillary will buy Bill's book, and people who don't like her will buy Bill O'Reilly's instead. The reviews have been mixed. Some critics say they couldn't put it down, and other critics say it is too heavy to pick up.
I haven't read the book, so I can be objective. I was very interested in Clinton's sad childhood, but I am not sure that is a good enough reason to pardon felon Marc Rich.
I read somewhere that Clinton agreed to write the book to get even with Ken Starr, who was part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. He could have done the same thing with an article in the National Enquirer.
Clinton insists the $10 million he got from his publishers did not in any way play a part in his decision. Bill said he has enough money from Hillary's book.
The former president is appearing on every television show in the world, including "Good Morning Botswana," and he is always asked the same question: Why did he do what he said he did after he denied he didn't do it? The other question is: Will his book overshadow John Kerry's bid for the presidency? The president said he didn't think so because he describes parts of the White House that nobody knows.
In his book, Clinton writes that occasionally he made "a mistake." His biggest one was when he said on national television, "I did not cut down that cherry tree." Then he thought about it and admitted that he chopped down the tree. His excuse for the lie was, "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make angry."
In promoting the book, the president agreed to answer any questions put to him, including how his economic policies were better than President Bush's.
Rush Limbaugh said, "How dare one president say that about another president? I have always been a friend of Bill's, but this time he has gone too far."
A few questions have been raised. A big one is how many books Clinton can sign before he hurts himself?
Orthopedic surgeon Joel Alper said, "His hand will become numb after he signs 56,000 books, and it will fall off when he hits 75,000. I advise him to get one of the signature-signing machines like he had in the White House."
Clinton says he has no regrets and holds no grudges, except against Starr. He wants his book to be a big success because Chelsea's wedding is coming up and everyone knows what a wedding costs these days.
(c)2004, Tribune Media Services