Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, began their 13-city paid speaking tour in Canada on Tuesday, where they spoke to a half-empty arena, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
The first “Evening with the Clintons” as it was called, took place in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, where the couple was interviewed by a Canadian politician and diplomat.
The Daily Mail reported that there were empty seats in both the upper and lower level of the center and that, in the final minutes before the event, one ticket was selling on Stubhub for $6.55 Canadian, which is less than $5 U.S.
Event officials told the Daily Mail that the organizers were expecting about 3,300 people, with about 1,000 buying the more expensive tickets for lower-level seats.
The event was promoted by Live Nation as a “one-of-a-kind conversations with the two leaders as they tell their stories from some of the most impactful moments in modern history.”
Potential ticket-buyers were told that the event, “will feature joint on stage conversations with the two leaders 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.”
The Clintons, who remain a source of controversy even off the campaign trail, were seated in upholstered chairs on stage under low lighting, where they were interviewed by politician and diplomat Frank McKenna, the deputy chairman of the TD Bank Group, the Daily Mail reported.
McKenna, who was formerly the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., was also a major Clinton Foundation donor, according to The Daily Wire.
During the interview, the couple touched on hot topics of the day, including giving a stern rebuke of President Donald Trump and some of his policies, according to the Daily Mail.
The topic of conversation covered everything from the United States midterm elections to the killing of Osama bin Laden to the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, the Daily Mail reported.
Judging by reports, one noticeable part of the event was Clinton’s persistent cough that garnered attention while she was on the 2016 presidential campaign, which she struggled with during the interview.
Several news outlets, including the Daily Mail, reported that the former first lady had a coughing attack after about an hour of questions and answers.
The former president and first lady got a warm response from the crowd when they took a swipe at the current administration, according to the Daily Mail, but not all the commentary in Canadian media was complimentary.
Toronto Star columnist Rosie Dimanno called the Clintons one of the “Performance couples that have withstood scandal, bickering, betrayals, shame, the plague of celebrity and definitely overexposure,” in a piece titled “Hillary and Bill Clinton Just Won’t Go Away.”
Dimanno pondered the couple and their appearance in Toronto and said, “It is legitimate to ask if there would ever have been a Bill Clinton without a Hillary Rodham.”
“The Clintons have nothing to sell,” she continued. “Except, I suppose, their abiding relevance, even if the Democratic Party is attempting a generational shape-shifting with an eye on the 2020 elections, the establishment old at loggerheads with the progressive new.”
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