How the mighty have fallen. As I’ve written about before, Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying desperately to make a national speaking tour a thing. Titled “An Evening With the Clintons”, the format is a simple one. A moderator and the Clintons are seated onstage and the paying audience listens to a question and answers session.
Apparently, an evening with the waning power couple is not very exciting, to put it kindly. Ending a winter hiatus the tour has started up again. The first stop was to the Beacon Theatre in New York City Thursday night. The moderator was Clinton campaign consultant/loyalist Paul Begala. Needless to say, there was nothing but softballs being lobbed and one older, gray-haired gentleman in the first row stood up and yelled, “Bill, this is boring!” Ouch. In response, the audience booed the heckler and he was ushered out of the theatre. Hillary deflected by calling him an “agent provocateur”.
“Bill, this is boring!” he yelled. As he tried asking his question — “Why don’t you talk about — ” Hillary immediately began talking over him, saying that the “important political conversations” they were trying to have could be difficult, especially when interrupted by such “agent provocateurs.”
The heckler yelled out, “Jeffrey Epstein”. The man wanted Bill Clinton to address the case against his friend Epstein, a wealthy financier accused of sexually abusing underage girls as young as 14 years old. Epstein socialized with powerful individuals before the accusations surfaced, including Bill Clinton. The handling of Epstein’s prosecution is now questioned by Democrats in the House because of the involvement of Alex Acosta. Acosta was a U.S. district attorney in Miami and involved in Epstein’s case in 2008. Acosta is now Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration.
In 2008, Epstein was charged with solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution. As the result of a deal he struck with then-Miami U.S. district attorney Alexander Acosta (now President Trump’s secretary of labor), Epstein entered a guilty plea and only served about 13 months in a Palm Beach county jail, where he stayed in a private wing. The non-prosecution agreement also ensured that the deal would be kept secret from Epstein’s victims, and that any “co-conspirators” — men who visited Epstein’s mansion and also received sexual services from very young women — would be immune from prosecution.
Being called boring must be devastating to Bill Clinton. Long before Barack Obama brought the cool factor to the presidency, Bill Clinton was the cool president. He was the first Baby Boomer president. He went on Arsenio Hall’s late-night television show and played the saxophone. His campaign’s theme song was one by Fleetwood Mac. Now he’s old and being kicked to the curb. The same is happening to Hillary. She was supposed to win the election in 2016, you know, yet she was robbed of her coronation thanks to that pesky electoral college.
The Clintons are out for some financial gratification now. Are Americans still willing to shell out their hard-earned cash for tickets to hear essentially nothing new or interesting from them? A piece in the Huffington Post (a liberal-leaning site) reports that many seats were “noticeably empty”. The people who did show up, though, gave the couple a standing ovation as they came onto the stage. The night was planned as a soft opening for their revived tour. Mostly the conversation revolved around nostalgic, complimentary stories of days past.
Thursday night was supposed to be the easy one ― “We’re starting this tour with a home game,” Bill Clinton joked at one point ― and it may very well turn out to be. The night was light on relitigation of that disappointing election and heavy on stories from the olden days, like that time Barack Obama was surprised to learn that the secretary of state had kept Osama bin Laden’s assassination a secret from her husband, the former president.
There were some protesters on the sidewalk in front of the theatre. A group of Haitians was there to angrily protest relief efforts for the devastation brought to the island by an earthquake in 2010. Others just wanted to voice displeasure that the Clintons were inside. The national tour is off and running. We’ll see how long it lasts or if it is canceled again due to lack of interest.
.@BillClinton and I are about to go on stage in NYC for a chat with @PaulBegala. Who knows what we’re going to talk about, but I’m sure it will include good stories and America's future, and we’ll try not to say the T word. If you're with us at the Beacon Theater, please say hi!
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 12, 2019