Mitt Romney's book tour: first stop on the campaign trail?

Mitt Romney's "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" reads like a playbook for a 2012 presidential run.

Cliff Owen/AP
With the release of "No Apology," Mitt Romney launches a 19-state book tour.

He was on the "Today" show yesterday and sat with the ladies on "The View" this morning. Over the course of the next two months he'll be pretty much everywhere. Mitt Romney's new book "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" was released yesterday and you might as well get used to seeing him in the headlines again. His 19-state book tour guarantees a certain amount of media coverage.

But early readers of Romney's book suggest that there's no chance that "No Apology" will generate the hot-cake-like sales of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue." The Boston Herald points out that "No Apology" "offers none of the newsy nuggets or juicy anecdotes that spice the best-selling memoir of Romney’s likely Republican presidential rival, Sarah Palin." On the contrary, says Time magazine, "Romney has penned a sober, substantive tome that traces the decline of the Ottoman Empire and includes graphs of housing prices."

What speaks most loudly about "No Apology," however, is Romney's attempt to criticize Barack Obama at the same time that he uses the president to create a contrasting image for himself. "The Republican's new book carries a critique of the president voiced by others: That Obama has been too willing to apologize around the world for American actions," writes the Chicago Tribune. "It lays out a vision for U.S. economic and foreign policy, maintaining that the current course is leading toward weakness and decline."

Speaking to the Boston Globe, Romney defended any perceived lack of pizazz in his book. "I don’t pretend this is going to be a bestseller," he said, adding, “Frankly, if I were wanting to simply sell copies of books and get the highest number sold, describing a personal history would be a more interesting read for most folks. But for those that are very interested in geopolitics and the way our economy works, this is going to be a more interesting book."

Perhaps the most interested readers will be those hoping for a foretaste of the scramble for the 2012 presidential nomination. As the Tribune put it, once the book tour starts, "The campaign cannot be far behind."

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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