If you are waxing nostalgic for what seemed like the longest election season in history, don’t rest now—the race for 2012 has no doubt already begun, not to mention other state and local races for this year. For the political diehards out there, now is your chance to get that jumpstart on the next round of candidates and their signed books.
Although I am the first to advise collectors to send books to potential candidates before they run, because that’s the best time to get them autographed, I have a confession to make—I didn’t follow my own advice in a few cases last year. Namely, I didn’t send books to Republican primary candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Had they made it all the way, I would have been out of luck. I have since made up for this.
But fear not, if you are so over politics at the moment, I’ve added a touch of international flare and rock ’n‘ roll for you as well.
One of the wealthiest men to ever run for president, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made headlines early on in his career as a successful businessman, and later for his role as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. His Olympic tenure also served as the topic of his first book, Turnaround, which was published in 2004. I bought a used copy on Amazon.com during the 2008 presidential race but didn’t send it to Romney’s campaign office, fearing it would be lost and realizing that the last thing he had time for was answering through-the-mail autograph requests.
Following Romney’s withdrawal from the race, I then sent him a bookplate, which he kindly inscribed and returned. As Romney weighs his political future for 2012, I know I’m covered.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee proved to be one of the most charming and humorous candidates on the 2008 presidential primary trail, as well as the most prolific. During the past several years, Huckabee’s self-penned library has grown to include Character Makes a Difference, Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork, From Hope to Higher Ground, Kids Who Kill, Living Beyond Your Lifetime, and his newest book, Do the Right Thing.
After he dropped out of the 2008 presidential race, I wrote to him and asked him if he would send me several inscribed bookplates for his many books. He generously obliged, sending me six bookplates—the sign of a true Southern gentleman!
The United Kingdom’s equivalent of a first lady, in the late 1990s, Cherie Booth Blair rose to international attention when her husband, Tony Blair, became the U.K.’s new prime minister. Young and outspoken, Cherie was targeted by the British press and public for her unconventional ways.
After having published her autobiography, Speaking for Myself, in the U.K. to much fanfare and a multi-million dollar advance, Cherie debuted the highly anticipated tome in the U.S. last November. In her book, the former prime minister’s wife provides a fascinating expose of her amazing life as well as her encounters with some of the world’s most notable figures, including Presidents Clinton and Bush, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, among many others.
While her husband was in office, I wrote to Cherie for a signed picture. She dutifully responded. Recently, I sent her autobiography off to her to be signed. I have no doubt it will be signed, sealed and returned to me as she has proven herself to be a friend to an international bevy of fans and collectors over the years.
For the past 30 years, Ronnie Wood has been a member of The Rolling Stones. Last year, Wood released his red-hot memoir, Ronnie, to critical acclaim and to the delight of music fans everywhere. This rare and often jaw-dropping glimpse inside one of the most famous and infamous bands of all time became an instant bestseller.
During a rare and very limited publicity tour in support of the book, a friend scored me two signed copies of Ronnie, one in which Wood added a heart and one in which he drew what appears to be a caricature. In addition to his enormous musical talent, Wood is also an accomplished artist, which makes the doodles he added to my books all the more valuable and treasured.