Who's writing 2016 success?
Do bookshelves hold clues to the 2016 presidential race? Christian Heinze of the Congress-focused newspaper The Hill thinks so.
“Every GOP primary contender in 2012 except for Jon Huntsman could count him- or herself an author before launching a White House bid,” Heinze wrote recently for The Hill's Ballot Box blog. “So let's take a look at which 2016 possibilities have checked that box and who needs to spend some time by lamplight with quill and political pen.”
His “2016 possibilities” are all Republicans — perhaps because Heinze covered this year's GOP nomination race. Here's a summary of his takes on them:
• Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, author of 2010's “Leadershlp and Crisis” (Regnery), “has plenty of material” for another book, which “could elaborate on” the conservatism overhaul he has urged “and would be read closely as a blueprint for his presidential message.”
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “is currently bookless” and up for re-election next year, “so don't expect a book until after he takes his second oath of office.” Of particular interest would be how he'd handle his post-Sandy embrace of President Obama just before this year's election.
• U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's autobiographical “An American Son: A Memoir” (Sentinel), released this year, has a “riveting personal story, honest reflection and politics that's free from bullet points.” Now that the Floridian has “checked the biography box, one can see him moving on to a deeper, more philosophical tome.”
• South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's memoir “Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story” (Sentinel) arrived in April, just after Romney had sewn up the nomination. But “thanks to mediocre popularity at home, she was never really considered a vice presidential contender, and consequently, her book was largely overlooked.”
• Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, is co-writing a 2013 Threshold Editions release, “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.” A 2016 Bush run “is likely to stand on two major pillars: education reform and immigration reform. Bush's upcoming book could form his opening argument.”
• Ohio Gov. John Kasich's latest of three books, 2010's “Every Other Monday: Twenty Years of Life, Lunch, Faith and Friendship” (Atria Books), “could pique the interest of Iowa's powerful evangelical population, which drives the Iowa caucuses.”
Heinze also mentions “bookless” GOP governors Susana Martinez (New Mexico), Bob McDonnell (Virginia) and Scott Walker (Wisconsin). Conspicious by his absence — perhaps an omen in itself — is published author Rick Santorum.
Also unmentioned by Heinze is that all 2016 contenders, Republican or Democrat, will have to sell an awful lot of their books to match the commercial success of the author they'll seek to replace in the Oval Office — Barack Obama.