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Obamas sign with speaker agency, start lining up book deals

The Obamas
The former first couple signed with the Harry Walker Agency to coordinate their speaking engagements. | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle have signed with a speaker’s agency and hired a legal team to negotiate book contracts, Obama’s spokesman said Friday.

Books and speeches can be very lucrative for the former first couple.

Back in Washington after a post-presidential vacation that took Obama to California and to the British Virgin Islands, the former president worked out of his new office here for the first time on Feb. 3.

The former first couple signed with the Harry Walker Agency “to coordinate their respective speaking engagements,” according to Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis.

They will also use lawyers Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell to “manage contract-negotiations with potential publishers” for their respective books.

Barnett, a Waukegan native, also represented Obama in the deal that resulted in the “Audacity of Hope,” his second book, published when he was an Illinois senator.

There is no timetable for when they hit the speaking circuit or when they will write their books.