Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have kindly been asked by fellow Democrats to make themselves scarce during midterms, will embark on a 13-city speaking tour beginning in Las Vegas on November 18, according to Bloomberg.
Tickets won’t be cheap either – with prices for the first show ranging from around $72 to $750 on ticketmaster to watch the prototypical American power couple “sharing stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking towards the future,” according to an announcement from Live Nation.
Bloomberg points out that the new speaking tour is likely to stoke criticism over the Clintons leveraging their political fame to give expensive speaking tours – including an infamous $500,000 speech to a Kremlin-linked investment bank amid the Uranium One deal (a trip during which Clinton and Putin hung out at the Russian president’s house).
The tour and ticket prices could reignite criticism of the former first couple for profiting from their former offices. During the 2016 campaign, Republicans blasted Hillary Clinton for giving highly paid speeches to corporate audiences after leaving public service.
Indeed, the Clinton tour follows two years of declining popularity – between Hillary Clinton’s historic 2016 loss to Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton’s old rape allegations cropping up amid the #MeToo phenomenon.
Vanity Fair writes “The Trump era has not been kind to the Clintons, the prototypical American power couple who, after three decades in the public eye, have seen their political capital vastly diminished. Hillary, indelibly marked by her 2016 election loss, has played only a limited role in the midterms, given the Democratic Party’s newfound aversion to her brand of establishment politics. Bill, meanwhile, has undergone a belated reckoning with #MeToo.”
[T]he issue of Hillary’s “likability”—as Barack Obama so memorably put it—is now secondary to the #MeToo scandals hanging over Bill, and the awkward questions she has been forced to address. In a recent interview with CNN, she drew a painstaking line between Bill and the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the current president, noting, “There’s a very significant difference, and that is the intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation that was conducted in the 90s. If the Republicans, starting with President Trump on down, want a comparison, they should welcome such an investigation themselves.” That answer may be sufficient for the dwindling number of hardcore Clinton fans, but it is unlikely to win converts. –Vanity Fair
Tickets for the Clinton tour go on sale Friday. It should be fun to compare crowd sizes between Trump rallies and Clinton appearances.