Their lawyer. Both Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush used D.C. power lawyer Bob Barnett to negotiate their book deals. Barnett is well-known in D.C. legal circles and provided counsel to the Clintons on numerous occasions (see his bio from law firm Williams & Connolly below; we’ve bolded the Clinton connections), so we find it a bit odd that Laura used the same attorney.
Barnett’s role at the negotiating table for both women makes the disparity between their advances even more perplexing. Did Barnett push for $8 million but publishers simply didn’t think Laura’s story was compelling enough to warrant such a large check? Or did he decide that it was unreasonable to expect an $8 million advance?
Excerpts From Barnett’s Williams & Connolly Bio: Mr. Barnett represents major corporations in litigation matters, corporate work, contracts, crisis management, transactions, government relations, and media relations. During his 30 years of practice, he has represented clients before almost every executive department and administrative agency in Washington. His clients have included McDonald’s Corporation, General Electric, Comcast, JM Family Enterprises, Sunbeam, Toyota, Deutsche Bank, MacAndrews & Forbes, Revlon, Coleman, First Alert, Rinnai, Southeast Toyota, ChoicePoint, and Toll Brothers, among others.
Mr. Barnett is one of the premier authors’ representatives in the world. His clients have included Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bob Woodward, Barack Obama, Lynne Cheney, Alan Greenspan, Karen Hughes, James Patterson, Katharine Graham, Tim Russert, Stephen White, George Will, Art Buchwald, James Carville, Mary Matalin, William Bennett, Cokie Roberts, several former U.S. Secretaries of State, numerous U.S. Senators, Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, Queen Noor of Jordan, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, and many others, including journalists, novelists, business leaders, public figures, politicians, and others…
Mr. Barnett also represents former government officials in conjunction with their transitions to the private sector. His clients have included Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Alan Greenspan, Andrew Card, Karl Rove, Dan Bartlett, Norman Mineta, Dan Quayle, Bill Richardson, James Baker, Larry Summers, Donna Shalala, and many former Senators and Congressman…
Mr. Barnett has worked on eight national presidential campaigns, focusing on debate preparation. In addition to playing a major role on the debate preparation teams in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2008, he played the role of George Bush in practice debates with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, with Michael Dukakis in 1988, and practice debated Bill Clinton more than 20 times during the 1992 campaign. In 2000, he played the role of Dick Cheney in practices with Joe Lieberman. In 2004, he played the role of Dick Cheney in practices with John Edwards. In 2000 and 2006, he assisted Hillary Rodham Clinton with her Senate debate preparations and helped prepare her for 23 primary debates in 2008.
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