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Evan Vucci / AP

Former president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have signed with Penguin Random House, according to a press release. The news followed a bidding war that reportedly exceeded $60 million for publishing rights to both their books, according to the FT. The exact numbers of the deal were not disclosed.

The priciest presidential book deal before the Obamas was Bill Clinton's 2004 memoir, which was bought for $15 million.

Who else was bidding: HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS, and Macmillan.

Irony: FT pointed out that if HarperCollins had won the bid, the Obamas books would have been under the same publisher as Fox's Bill O'Reilly, who was a huge critic of Obama.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.