This just stinks.

Obama lands $1.9 million book deal:

“No Senate regulations prevent Obama from signing a contract for a book before he is sworn into office Jan. 4.

Under the pending contract:

*Obama will be paid an $850,000 advance from Crown Publishers for a book due to be published in spring 2006. According to a news release, it will ‘offer a window into the political and spiritual convictions that propelled’ Obama’s Senate win.

*Obama receives another $850,000 from Crown for another book, but its topic ‘is under discussion,’ said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Steve Ross, a senior vice president and publisher at Crown, said they had ‘no idea’ what that book would be about but made the payment to make ‘a statement of our long-term confidence in him as an author.’ The money is also intended to show ‘that we want him to have a long-term home’ at Crown.” [emphasis added]

It just stinks. We fought the battle for campaign contribution limits. We fought this when Gingrich got a book deal. Politicians taking money stinks — book deals, speaking fees, whatever — there is just no way around it. ANY politician.

Update – This is not about free speech. He can communicate all he wants. He can write all the books he has time for as a Senator.

But he should not be accepting $1.9 million from ANYONE, under ANY circumstances.

Even if he didn’t accept an “advance” and only took the money made by actually writing and then selling the books, that is what Speaker of the House Wright had to resign for.

IT’S THE MONEY NOT THE BOOK! How do we justify criticism of Tom Delay or any of the others if we say it is OK for Obama to accept $1.9 million?