Bill and Hillary tour underwhelms in ticket sales, attendance

Bill and Hillary Clinton have taken their show on the road. Ticket sales for “An Evening with the Clintons” are not what they once might have been, according to all reports. With stops deliberately booked in what are assumed to be Clinton-friendly cities, the aging power couple seems to be having trouble filling seats.

It’s not exactly a whirlwind tour. The schedule is downright lethargic in the beginning. The first stop on November 27 was in Toronto, Canada with a stop the next night in Montreal. The next stop on the schedule is Houston on December 4. In light of the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, that date may be canceled or changed. But, that’s all there is to the tour until 2019. They start back up in April 2019 in New York City and continue through May, ending in Las Vegas on May 5. Does anyone else think it’s odd that a former U.S. president and a former Secretary of State began a self-promoting tour in Canada? Maybe it’s just me.

The venue in Toronto only sold 3,300 tickets. Whole sections of the arena were empty. I checked the website for ticket prices and for the Houston stop, the cheap seats go for $15.00 and the most expensive ticket price I could find was $1146.00.  That’s a real bargain, especially compared to the book tour events (it’s not just a book tour, they are events) scheduled for former First Lady Michelle Obama. The high-end prices for the Michelle tour go for $10,000. That is what I found and it’s not a stop in Houston but in Dallas at the American Airlines Center. The Clinton venue in Houston is smaller.

Anyway, you won’t be surprised to read that a good bit of the Clinton question and answer conversation centers around her bitterness toward President Trump. He lives rent-free in her head.

And the former secretary of state was prepared to mock Trump’s interview with the Washington Post just hours after it published, shaking her head at Trump telling the paper “my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

You “literally you can’t make this stuff up,” she said. “A dozen times a day your head is spinning.”< And near the end of the event, Hillary Clinton returned to Trump's gut, criticizing him for saying he does not "believe" a recently released dire government report on climate change. "It just riles me up," she said. "If you won't listen to people who actually spend time over decades studying problems, my goodness, your gut is not the answer to everything that is important in the world, I'm sorry."

The tour comes at a time when speculation is strong on whether or not Hillary will actually make another attempt at a presidential run. She joked about standing for Parliament in Canada when asked about any plans to run but you know she’s thinking about. I don’t think she ever stops thinking about it. She’s consumed with anger that Donald Trump won. While the next generation of Democrats is ready to move up, the Clintons (especially Hillary) refuse to leave the stage. It’s no wonder ticket sales are slow. Why would anyone pay money to listen to them when almost any day an interview or quote is available in print or on television? It’s not like either of them are saying anything new.

Also, there’s the re-emergence of Monica Lewinsky. She’s been telling her story after all these years. Don’t expect either Clinton to be asked about that whole scandal, though. It’s not happening. The former horndog-in-chief still gets a pass on the difficult questions.

But the kickoff comes at a tenuous time for the Clintons: Not only is their standing in the Democratic Party in question after neither was particularly prolific during the midterms, but the event comes amid a renewed focus on Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, a moment in history that has gained more attention recently because of a multi-part series on the affair on A&E and other retrospectives. The Lewinsky affair and other allegations against of sexual impropriety Bill Clinton are also being re-examined in the light of the #MeToo era.

One topic that Hillary is quick to criticize President Trump on is his relationship with Saudia Arabia. It’s ironic given the Clinton Foundation’s refusal to state that they will no longer accept financial donations from The Kingdom as others have.

“We have a president who is part of the cover-up as to what happened in that consulate or embassy when Mr. Khashoggi was murdered,” Clinton said. “And we have a president and those closest to him who have their own personal commercial interests.”

But the Clinton Foundation, to which donations declined dramatically after Clinton’s 2016 defeat, has taken multi-million dollar contributions from Saudi Arabia in the past and isn’t ruling out continuing to accept them.

The Clinton Foundation accepted between $10 and $25 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with donations coming as late as 2014. A now-defunct group named “Friends of Saudi Arabia,” which was reportedly co-founded by a Saudi Prince and often worked as a PR front for the kingdom, also donated between $1 and $5 million.

Implying corruption about the sitting president in business dealings is probably not the best idea. She and her husband have a legacy of corruption. She should just sit that conversation out.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023