Yes, people, the day is coming, and it’s coming fast: We’re almost done for good with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
How can we be sure, you ask? Here’s how: Tickets to see them live and hear them blab about their lives are selling for the cost of a Big Mac meal at McDonald’s.
Not enough proof? Well, there’s this, too: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is finally sick of them.
The former first couple opened a 13-city speaking tour late last month with a premiere event in Toronto (why they think anyone in Canada wants to hear them whine about Hillary’s crushing defeat in the 2016 presidential election is anybody’s guess). They pulled just 3,000 people to an arena that seats 19,000.
Then they took their road show, “An Evening With the Clintons,” to Montreal, but they fared little better (and not for lack of trying: In a case of classic Clinton pandering, each said that Canada was superior to America).
And things kept getting worse. Ticket prices for their event in Texas plunged to just $6. Seems no one is interested in hearing them tell “stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking toward the future,” which a press release promised.
Why are Bill and Hillary traveling the country charging people top dollar to hear them bloviate? It’s not the money: The couple made $250 million in the 15 years after Bubba left office (and Hillary made bank selling access — and favors — while she was secretary of state).
No, they just want … to be loved. Like poor Charles Foster Kane, they just need to be loved. “That’s why he went into politics. It seems we weren’t enough. He wanted all the voters to love him, too,” Jedediah Leland says in the classic Orson Welles movie.
But one person has fallen decidedly out of love with the Clintons. Dowd has finally had enough of the self-serving couple and last week called them out, calling them “shockingly un-self-aware.”
“I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s a depressing sight. It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance. (I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option.) On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits,” Dowd writes.
“I get reassigned to another section as the Clintons’ audience space shrinks. But even with all the herding, I’m still looking at large swaths of empty seats — and I cringe at the thought that the Clintons will look out and see that, too. It was only four years ago, after all, that Canadians were clamoring to buy tickets to see the woman who seemed headed for history. 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.”
So here’s the math: It’s Christmas 2018. Come January, the 2020 presidential contest begins in earnest. Democrats take over the House (look for endless investigations into President Trump), and the loudest, most partisan in the party will rise to the top. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Donna Brazile said Tuesday that there might be upward of 30 people running for the Democratic nomination.
Now, make no mistake: Hillary will milk 2019 for all it’s worth. She’ll try to make it look like she might — just might — jump in for one last run. Some liberal supporters in the mainstream media (not Dowd, apparently), will push another run by the two-time loser. And she’ll use her dwindling clout to make even more money. (How much is enough with these people?)
But she won’t run, and she knows she won’t. Still, the pair just can’t bear to go away. Dowd summed up why: “The Clintons refuse to be discarded. It has been their joint project for half a century to be at the center of the public scene and debate. The way that the whole thing came crashing down in 2016 is too hard for them to bear. They would like to rewrite the ending, but there is no way to do that.”
No, there’s not. And Bill and Hillary are about to go away forever. The day is nearly here.
* A version of this article ran previously in The Washington Times.