Politics

Did Mike Pence buy his way onto the New York Times Best Sellers list?

Did Mike Pence buy his way onto the New York Times Best Sellers list?
Mike Pence scored second place on the list, but did he cheat?Photo: Screenshot

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s autobiography, So Help Me God, dominated The New York Times Best Sellers List in November, but did he game the system to score so highly?

Donald Trump Jr. tried to buy his way onto the list in 2019 but was widely ridiculed when it was revealed that bulk purchases by the Republican Party, his dad, and conservative groups were what had pushed the book’s sales. Now it appears that Pence used the same trick.

According to financial reports from the Federal Elections Committee, Pence spent $91,000 at an online bookstore shortly before his book hit stores, helping it to shoot up to second place on the list. Pence’s report identified the purchase as “collateral materials.”

Books are typically marked with a dagger (†) on The New York Times Best Sellers List if bulk purchases are suspected, but Pence’s book is not flagged.

“Institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases, if and when they are included, are at the discretion of The New York Times Best-Seller List Desk editors based on standards for inclusion that encompass proprietary vetting and audit protocols, corroborative reporting and other statistical determinations,” according to the outlet’s outline of their standards.

Michelle Obama’s book, The Light We Carry, debuted on the list the same week. While Pence ended up in second place, Obama was number one.

Her book was not flagged.

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