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Inside the Beltway: Michelle Obama’s ‘The Light We Carry’ book tour planned



Former first lady Michelle Obama has a new book titled “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times” arriving in mid-November — complete with a grand national tour with an “all-star lineup,” according to Live Nation Entertainment, which plans the logistics for major musical acts.

Mrs. Obama will tour 14 major cities — and she’ll have company on the stage. Her co-hosts will include Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres and Tyler Perry among others; they will appear in the role of “moderators” on stage.

“For me, The Light We Carry book tour will be about starting important conversations and digging deeper into the questions that all of us are grappling with as we live through uncertain times. I can’t wait to get back on the road and dive into it with such a thoughtful, impressive group of moderators,” Mrs. Obama said in a written statement.

Her publisher Crown — an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group and a division of Penguin Random House — has revealed that the first printing of the new book will reach 2.75 million copies. There will be audio versions of course — and the book will be published simultaneously in 14 languages and 27 countries, with additional languages and territories to be announced.

Meanwhile, there has been some buzz that the book’s publication could signal that Mrs. Obama may be considering a run for U.S. president — a possibility covered by multiple news organizations in recent months.

As an author, she could generate much public interest. Let’s recall that Mrs. Obama did very well with her first book “Becoming,” a 448-page personal memoir — which was translated into 24 languages, sold 14 million copies and was the highest selling book in 2018, the year it was published. A documentary film based on the book and Mrs. Obama’s tour was also produced by Netflix.

And it may seem like ancient history now, but former President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama received a $65 million advance from Penguin Random House for their memoirs in 2017. It is of note, perhaps, that former President Bill Clinton received a $15 million advance for his 2004 memoir from publisher Alfred A. Knopf and former first lady Hillary Clinton got an advance of $11.5 million from Simon & Schuster for her life story in 2015.

IN PERSON OR ABSENTEE?

There has been considerable discussion about the viability of political elections in complicated times.

Historians will recall the old problems of “hanging chads” on paper ballots, which complicated the 2000 presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. A five-week standoff over the outcome in Florida ensued and Mr. Bush was not announced as the winner until Dec. 12 of that year.

More recently, former President Donald Trump and his supporters were troubled by the idea that the ballots were improperly cast and tallied during the close bout with President Biden.

“In 2020, 43% of voters cast ballots by mail and another 26% voted in person before Election Day. In 2016, 21% mailed in their ballots and 19% voted in person prior to Election Day,” said the U.S. Census in an analysis of the pattern released last year.

But what do voters prefer these days?

Republicans and Democrats have different views of that process. Yes, there are numbers. A National Public Radio/Marist poll finds that 51% of U.S. adults plan to vote in person and on Election Day; that includes 62% of Republicans and 52% of independents but only 39% of Democrats.

Another 30% of voters overall say they will vote by mail or absentee vote; 17% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 42% of Democrats agree with that plan.

Meanwhile, the prospect of going to an early voting location holds tepid appeal: 17% of voters overall will choose this option: 20% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 18% of Democrats.

The poll of 1,690 U.S. adults was conducted Sept. 27-29 and released Thursday.

ONE FOR THE VETERANS

Military Vets in Journalism — that’s MVJ for short — was founded in 2019 with a mission to attract more veterans to the press. The organization has a major task at hand: only 2% of media workers have military experience, compared to 7% of the U.S. population overall, the group says, citing numbers from the U.S. Census.

All that said, the organization has organized a substantial convention in the nation’s capital with a distinct agenda that will include disinformation in media coverage, national security, reporting on disabled veterans, and local and investigative journalism. There will be discussions on myriad topics including this one: “Why newsrooms need veterans.”

Speakers include Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Keeling, a former Marine infantry officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who will address the value that veterans bring with them into journalism careers.

Find the organization at MJV.network — and find their convention schedule and future events under MJV.network/blog.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

• 56% of U.S. adults agree that the Republican and Democratic parties “do such a poor job that a third major party is needed”; 45% of Republicans, 75% of independents and 40% of Democrats agree.

• 59% of men and 52% of women also agree.

• 40% overall say the two major parties do an adequate job representing the American people; 51% of Republicans, 22% of independents and 55% of Democrats agree.

• 38% of men and 42% of women also agree.

• 4% overall don’t know or refused to answer; 5% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.

• 3% of men and 5% of women also agree.

SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 812 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 1-16 and released Thursday.

• Helpful information to [email protected]





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