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Most Spectacular Source of Income

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Obama: Books—That He Wrote Himself!
It's not the income itself that's spectacular, but how he earned it: After his 2004 Democratic convention speech and the success of his first book, Dreams From My Father, Obama signed a $1.9 million three-book deal with Random House. Dreams and The Audacity of Hope topped best-seller lists, but unlike many other politicians who have achieved that feat, Obama actually wrote the books himself, without the assistance of “collaborators.” Obama dabbled in poetry at Occidental College and used to consider writing fiction as a possible career, and his command of language is on display in both titles. “One of the things about having written this first one is, the threshold is a little higher,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times, discussing the expectations for Audacity. “People know what my voice sounds like. I can't fake it with a ghostwriter.” (Clinton, by comparison, used three collaborators in composing Living History.)

McCain: Well, Hello, Mrs. McCain!
Like his father before him, McCain married a beautiful, wealthy heiress. His second wife, Cindy, is a former junior-rodeo queen and chairwoman of Hensley & Co., her father's wholesale Anheuser-Busch distribution company in Phoenix, one of the largest in the nation. Most of the couple's $24.3 million in financial holdings are in Cindy McCain's name. McCain refuses to use his wife's money to finance his campaigns, but the Arizona senator is not going to have to rely on his Navy pension anytime soon. As he’s told Cindy: “I run on my own merits…"


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