Friday, January 29, 2010

Bill Clinton: Vegas Headliner!?!

This must be a first, right?

Bill Clinton is giving a speech at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. For money. For, so I'm told, himself. And they're selling it on Ticketmaster. When they go on sale on Feb. 1 -- at 10 a.m. for those who wish to set their clocks to this -- they'll cost $35, $45, $65, $100 and $150, with a VIP package that includes a meet-and-greet for $750.

Right about now I suspect endangered Sen. Harry Reid and U.S. Rep. Dina Titus are thinking, "What a waste!" Or, in Titus' case, "What a fucking waste." They surely wouldn't mind that dough for their own increasingly tenuous re-election bids. But, hey, the Big Dog needs to scare up some change to pay for Chelsea's wedding, I guess.

But has there ever, ever, ever been an ex-president who has given a publicly ticketed speech in a major Vegas showroom to profit...himself? Ever? For that matter, does he do these sorts of engagements in other places? Does Bill Clinton headline the La Jolla Playhouse?

The press release was just the weirdest thing. It treated this dude like this was any ole act playing a Vegas gig and ran down his greatest hits. The speech has a name -- "Embracing Our Common Humanity" -- by which in this case he must mean our common desire to come to Vegas and make off like a bandit.

Here's what the AEG peeps sent around:

LAS VEGAS, NV (January 29, 2010) – President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, will speak at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Monday, February 22 at 7:30pm. President Clinton’s lecture is titled “Embracing our Common Humanity”.

The special evening event is presented by Caesars Palace and AEG Live.
President Clinton served the United States for eight years during a time of unprecedented prosperity and change. Now, President Clinton is a powerful voice for progress around the world as he shares his unique insights and observations with audiences around the world. President Clinton’s public speeches describe the challenge of globalization, emphasize our growing interdependence, and point the way toward a common future based on shared goals and values.

William Jefferson Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. The Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (now the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a separate nonprofit organization) which is helping 2 million people living with HIV/AIDS access lifesaving drugs. Other initiatives -- including the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative -- are applying a business-oriented approach worldwide to fight climate change and develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America. As a project of the Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative brings together global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. In the U.S., the Foundation is working to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and is helping individuals and families succeed and small businesses grow.

In addition his Foundation work, President Clinton has joined with former President George H.W. Bush three times – after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008 – to help raise money for recovery efforts. He also served as the U.N. Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, and was named U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti in 2009 to assist its people and government as they “build back better” from recent storm damages and implement their economic vision for the future.

Seriously? We need Bill Clinton's resume? They need to sell the world on how awesome he (thinks he) is? Funny it left out the part about being impeached, huh? I mean, he's only the second president in 150 or so years to have that distinction!

And who do they think will pay to line his pocket? I can see if this was a fundraiser for Haiti or something, maybe. But it's unfathomable that tourists will say, "Well, there's that awesome Cirque show at the Mirage, but oh, look! Bill Clinton is talking!" And locals rarely go down to the Strip on school nights.

If you're hot to see this one -- You are? Really? -- I strongly suggest you hold off on buying tickets. Or give a ring the day before to the local Democratic Party, where they'll surely be looking for seatfillers.

I wonder if he'll play the sax. I hear the acoustics in that place are awesome.


Anonymous said...

I don't know... I've never seen a U.S. President in person. That might be worth $ 35.

I recall one of the Vegas insiders I read talking about the revelation of a headliner at the Colosseum earlier this week. Perhaps this is what they meant.

amy said...

Think about the possibilities to have an opening act of Vegas chorus girls. Interesting marketing -"I opened for Bill Clinton"

Do you suppose there will be half-price, day of performance tickets?