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Obama revamped book deal; "Dreams From My Father" youth edition in the works

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WASHINGTON -- Bo, the Portuguese water dog, was a priceless addition to the first family, a gift from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and his wife, Victoria. Bo's value, according to the Obama's latest financial disclosure form, released on Monday, was $1,600.

Bo's worth, the White House said, was determined by his breeder. Much of the financial picture of President Obama and first lady Michelle is known from their tax returns and prior disclosure statements. Obama signed his new statement on Friday, with details from January-December 2009. Among them:

• Last year, Obama recast his book deal with Crown Publishing; the original agreement dates to December 2004, after he was elected senator from Illinois but before he took office.

Under the new arrangement, Obama will not owe his publisher a nonfiction book -- or any future works -- while he is president. Obama's original deal called for him to write two nonfiction books and a children's book. Obama delivered one of the books, The Audacity of Hope.

• Also last year, Obama agreed to a deal with Crown in which one of its divisions, Random House Books, will published an edition of his memoir, Dreams From My Father, suitable for middle-grade or young adult readers. In 2009, Obama received a $225,000 payment, part of a previously disclosed $500,000 advance.

This youth book was proposed in 2008. Last year, Obama received royalties of more than $1 million for each of his best-selling books.

• The Obamas still keep a checking account at Chicago-based Northern Trust, though less than $1,000 was in it.

• At retirement, Obama will be able to draw a pension from his days as an Illinois state senator because he paid into the plan when he served.

• In 2009, Michelle Obama received a payment of an unknown amount from the University of Chicago Hospitals, her final deferred compensation distribution. She is not obliged to disclose her financial information.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 18, 2010 5:46 AM.

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