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Throwing the book at Obama – literally

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Jim Young/Reuters

(Read caption) A book thrown at President Obama during a rally in Philadelphia narrowly missed hitting him.

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As it turns out, there were no politics involved. The man who – literally – threw a book at President Obama during a rally in Philadelphia this past weekend was not trying to make a point about Mr. Obama's politics or his policy. Instead, he was an overly eager author.

According to Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan, the man – whose name has not been released – threw his book at the president hoping that he would read it. The Secret Service concluded that the man posed no danger to Obama. (The president was not hit and did not appear even to notice the book.)

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You would think that there would have to be easier – and safer ways – to get book publicity. Tangling with the Secret Service is not a good idea for those struggling in any field. And despite all the jokes about the books that should have been tossed – "The Constitution," "The Bill of Rights," "Economics 101," "How to Win Friends and Influence People," etc. – the title of the book actually tossed is still unknown.

The author who did the throwing might have done well to remember last year's incident when a man tossed tomatoes at Sarah Palin during her book tour. As was the case in Sunday's incident, the intended target – Ms. Palin – was not hit and in fact did not even appear to be aware that anything had been thrown. The one doing the throwing, however, ended up in the hands of security forces.

The incident did get plenty of publicity – but has yet to sell any books.

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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