Report: Romney boosted book sales by asking institutions to buy copies in lieu of speech fees

Two ways to look at this. One: Smart businessman makes smart business decision. Two: Mitt’s a phony. I wonder which read most of our commenters will prefer.

I’m throwing this fastball right down the middle for you, Palin fans. Swing away.

Romney’s book tour ran from early March to late May of this year, and took him to bookstores, universities, conferences and private groups around the country. Their giant purchases helped his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, debut on top of the New York Times best-seller list, though with an asterisk indicating bulk purchases.

The hosts ranged from Claremont McKenna College to the Restaurant Leadership Conference, many of whom are accustomed to paying for high-profile speakers like Romney. Asking that hosts buy books is also a standard feature of book tours. But Romney’s total price — $50,000 — was on the high end, and his publisher, according to the document from the book tour — provided on the condition it not be described in detail — asked institutions to pay at least $25,000, and up to the full $50,000 price, in bulk purchases of the book. With a discount of roughly 40 percent, that meant institutions could wind up with more than 3,000 copies of the book — and a person associated with one of his hosts said they still have quite a pile left over.

Conservatives4Palin was all over the bulk-order angle back in March, when Romney’s book first hit the NYT bestseller list. Palin’s sales never received the “bulk” asterisk; his received not one but two. I suppose the embarrassment of this revelation was worth the risk, since it’s only political junkies like you and me who’ll notice this news and not the general population, but it basically destroys the credential, doesn’t it? Now, every time his campaign touts his record as a “bestselling author,” it’s cause for the media to revisit how that came to be.

Exit quotation: Here’s another fastball for Palin fans. In a Q&A Wednesday night after a speech in Vancouver, she told one questioner, “When I do run again I will be more rogue.” Run again? What does she mean?