October 13, 2016
Watch Tim Kaine absolutely EVISCERATE Donald Trump’s book cover design (even though his is also bad)
by Liam O’Brien
In the publishing of dumb political books with great names, Donald Trump’s recent campaign biography is considered especially heinous. There’s the fact that it may have facilitated fraud, the Hitler-y aspect, and most exceptionally, Crippled America’s downright risible (and nauseating) cover design.
We at MobyLives are but humble book publishing professionals, who would sooner set a single tea light afire than curse the book-shaped darkness. It’s a big deal when criticism of Trump’s book design comes from someone with a much larger profile: America’s harmonica-enthusiast Hyde-Amendment-loving nerd-dad, Tim Kaine!
The Democrats’ VP nominee recently addressed a crowd in Pittsburgh, where he took a moment to push his and his running mate’s own book, while throwing in a few pointed comments about Trump’s aforementioned campaign missive and its subsequent retitled edition, Great Again: How To Fix Our Crippled America. Here’s the video (skip ahead to 4:30 to hear him address the book):
“I’ve been using these books as a prop on stage for about a month, and I just learned something just this morning… Donald Trump has decided to change the name of this book. So they’re just out with a new version that has changed the name—it’s the same book—but they changed the name to Great Again. And instead of glowering at the world, Donald Trump has a kind of smile like, ‘I got a used car to sell you.’” …But clearly he realizes that if the American public realizes that this is how he looks at the public, they won’t like me very much. You can change the title of your book, but you can’t change who you are, Donald Trump!”
I’m sure Kaine isn’t the only Democrat who missed it when Trump re-released his book with a (relatively) sunnier new title and cover all the way back in July. And he’s correct about the new cover design, which is clearly intended to push forth the image of Trump as a focused, Charlie-Wilson-esque dealmaking optimist, but really gives off more of an “absolutely essential undercoating”-type vibe.
But as far as book sales are concerned, Trump has the Clinton/Kaine ticket beat soundly. Stronger Together has sold just shy of 11,000 as per Nielsen BookScan, a meager showing compared to 240,000 of Crippled America and 27,000 of Great Again. And that’s before we even get to the question of cover design.
Yes, Donald Trump’s book covers are just the latest repugnant branding from Queens’s most successful fraudster/our great national embarrassment. As many have pointed out, Stronger Together looks like someone failing to imitate the Europa house style during a feverish Adderall-fueled final hour before deadline. The images of Kaine and Clinton look like they were taken in different zip codes and hurriedly Photoshopped into frame, and the whole thing is just messy.
Still, it’s nice to see America’s politicians finally discussing the real issues.
Liam O’Brien is the Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.