Apparently, the Clintons’ political life is set to end not with a bang, but a whimper. I wonder what kind of envy Bill and Hillary Clinton experienced over the jam-packed arenas – with thousands listening outside – that President Trump always has, as they gazed out at the more than 15,000 empty seats facing them last night in Toronto on their stadium speaking tour. Even though curtains were erected cutting the arena in half, the vacant seats far outnumbered the occupied ones. The U.K. Daily Mail reports that 3,300 tickets were sold in the Scotiabank Arena, which holds 19,800, 16.6% of capacity.
Perhaps even more humiliating, while ticket prices began at $53 (Canadian), the U.K. Daily Mail reported that “[o]ne ticket was going for $6.55 in the final minutes before the event.”
The program featured the Clintons talking with Frank McKenna, deputy chair of TD Bank. According to the Daily Mail, he is also “a former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., was also a major Clinton Foundation donor, and was featured in the book, ‘Clinton Cash.’”
While 3,300 tickets sold at prices ranging from $53 to over $200 still yields a healthy payday, even after expenses, the optics are terrible. Clinton-friendly CNN reports:
And even Democrats loyal to the Clintons are questioning the decision to embark on the tour.
“I just think the optics of going to an event where people are paying to see them, and they are financially gaining from this, I am not sure that is the right way to reingratiate them back into the public sphere,” said a former Clinton aide. “They haven’t gone away, and I don’t want them to go away, but I am not sure this is the right venue from an optics standpoint.”
The very progressive Toronto Star’s review of the performance headlined, “Hillary and Bill Clinton just won’t go away.” Rosie Dimanno asked:
But what in the world are they doing with this Live Nation production, a Clinton-times-two odyssey, which began in Las Vegas a fortnight ago and trucks on into Montreal next, 13 stops in all this year and next, three of them north of the border?
Surely they can’t need the money, although the stench of avarice has long clung to Hillary. According to Forbes, they’ve racked up $240 million (U.S.) since departing 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2001, when Bill Clinton claimed they were broke, so much of their personal finances spent defending himself against civil law suits and impeachment.
It is unclear whither the profits from what has been billed as “An Evening with the Clintons” – projected gate $120 million – with tickets topping out at $745.50 per seat, depending on the city. Joint conversations to share “stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers,” as per the event PR bumpf.
According to media accounts, President Trump loomed over the event, the subject of frequent disparaging comments by the former power couple. And Monica Lewinsky was never mentioned.
But making a return appearance was Hillary Clinton’s coughing fit. Martin Walsh of the American Mirror:
Hillary was asked a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Before she could begin her usual spill about how Russia cost her the election, Clinton was completely overtaken by an uncontrollable cough.
As Clinton couldn’t shake the cough for several seconds, the moderator asked her husband, former President Bill Clinton, about climate change.
While the moderator was speaking with the former president, Hillary could not stop coughing and compose herself.
The Clintons have wildly overestimated their mass appeal. Maybe they should try dinner theaters.