Andrew Cuomo's memoir flops -- big time

Despite national media attention, the governor's book sales aren't looking good

Published October 22, 2014 4:11PM (EDT)

  (AP/Mike Groll)
(AP/Mike Groll)

For Andrew Cuomo, New York's brash and ambitious Democratic governor, his new memoir, "All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life," was supposed to be his introduction to a larger, national audience. But the book sold a grand total of only 945 copies its first week.

The New York Times' Amy Chozick reported the news on Twitter after checking Nielsen's BookScan figures:

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By comparison, Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Hard Choices" sold 85,000 copies in its first week this summer. When Paul Ryan's "The Way Forward" sold fewer than 6,300 copies its first week later this summer, industry experts considered that a pretty poor showing. But despite serving as governor of the third-most populous state and being the subject of presidential speculation, Cuomo couldn't muster a fifth of that total.

An even bigger humiliation? A new book on political corruption by Zephyr Teachout, the progressive law professor who won more than a third of the vote against Cuomo in last month's Democratic primary, is far outperforming Cuomo's book in sales on Amazon. Cuomo's book ranked 18,104 on the site as of Tuesday; Teachout's "Corruption in America" ranked 1,461.

Cuomo, who has typically avoided the national press during his term as governor, has embarked on a national media campaign to promote "All Things Possible." In the book, Cuomo tears into his progressive critics, castigating the "extreme left," which he charges “speak[s] of punitively raising taxes on the rich and transferring the money to the poor” while seeking to “demonize those who are very wealthy.” At the same time, Cuomo touts his liberal bona fides on issues like gun safety, marriage equality and healthcare.

Progressives have soured on Cuomo over his center-right economic agenda -- which the right-wing National Review has praised -- as well as his disbanding of his much-heralded anti-corruption commission. The dissolution of the commission is currently the subject of a federal probe.

Literary and political setbacks aside, Cuomo is expected to coast to victory over GOP challenger Rob Astorino next month. RealClearPolitics' polling average gives Cuomo a 22-point lead over Astorino.

By Luke Brinker

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