Remember Groupon? Back around the start of this decade, it was basically where you turned to get someone a cheap birthday or Christmas present when you didn’t really care about them.
Well, that’s apparently what Bill and Hillary Clinton are relying on to salvage their national speaking tour.
As you may have heard, the former president and the not-quite-president he’s married to have had a bit of trouble attracting people to the shows.
The tour took some time off last week as the Clintons mourned former President George H.W. Bush. The event in Houston — officially called “An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton” — was canceled due to the death, according to Fox News.
However, signs of trouble were already afoot.
A sparsely attended event in Toronto made the rounds in media of both legacy and social variety, as a little more than 3,000 occupied seats in a 19,000-seat arena made it clear not a whole lot of people were terribly interested in the shindig.
It didn’t take long for the knives of the punditocracy to come out. https://twitter.com/trendingpress1/.
“I can’t fathom why the Clintons would make like aging rock stars and go on a tour of Canada and the U.S. at a moment when Democrats are hoping to break the stranglehold of their cloistered, superannuated leadership and exult in a mosaic of exciting new faces,” New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote after attending the Toronto event.
“What’s the point? It’s not inspirational. It’s not for charity. They’re not raising awareness about a cause, like Al Gore with global warming. They’re only raising awareness about the Clintons.”
It wasn’t just Toronto. At the canceled Houston event, tickets ranged from roughly $30 to $400 list price, but were changing hands for as little as $7 on the second-hand market.
Desperate times call for desperate measures — and a website you probably haven’t seen in a long, long while.
Yes, only $50 for insights like this about why Vladimir Putin didn’t like her: “I think he saw me as someone who had stood up to him,” Hillary Clinton told the Toronto audience. “And would stand up to him.”
That’s deep. And deeply discounted! As Groupon notes, you can listen to “Bill and Hillary Clinton share insights into their years at the center of the Democratic party (sic) and discuss the future of American politics” at the Forum in Inglewood, California on the cheap.
“On the official site, there were still seats for the tour available for up to $325, with other floor seats going for $83 plus a hefty service charge, but on Groupon, they can be picked up for as little as $35,” the U.K. Daily Mail reports.
And even then, it might not have helped out all that much.
“Despite the site telling customers that ‘tickets are selling fast!’ with ‘limited time remaining,’ it appears that less than 450 discounted tickets have actually been sold,” the Mail reported.
The Forum seats over 17,000 people. I don’t think you’re going to going to fill it on a website best known for hawking deals on yoga classes and all-you-can-eat rib joints.
If you think that there’s just not much pent-up demand to see a politician, consider Michelle Obama’s tour, which sets people back anywhere from $300 to $2,500 a ticket.
Now, granted, the fact that they’re doing this tour in NBA-sized arenas throws into relief just how their mismatched the Clintons’ egos and cold, hard reality are. However, it illustrates a much bigger fact: The Clintons are stuck in 2008.
They still believe America really cares about them and their “insights into their years at the center of the Democratic Party.” They still think that tens of thousands of people would pay professional sports prices to see them.
And they’re still under the impression that people use Groupon.
I challenge you to find a better metaphor for where the Clintons are in 2018.