Struggling Clinton tour takes a break after Bush’s death, delays Texas stop

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s speaking tour is taking a break, with a ticket representative confirming that the political power couple is delaying a Houston-area tour stop originally scheduled for Tuesday after the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

A representative from Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, Texas, told Fox News on Monday that “An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton” -- which had been slated for Tuesday at the venue -- has been postponed.

Hillary Clinton tweeted Monday afternoon that "Bill and I will be traveling to Washington to pay our respects to President George H.W. Bush and his family at the funeral this week. We were greatly looking forward to being in Houston for our event this week, and are excited to come back next year as soon as we find a date."

The next scheduled event on the Clintons' speaking tour is not until April 11 in New York City.

The Texas stop's postponement comes after the Clintons' premiere performance in Toronto last week, which drew critical coverage over its sparse attendance as well as comparisons with the sold-out events on former first lady Michelle Obama's book tour.

“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 in a weekend op-ed, after attending the kick-off. “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.”

Dowd wrote that she paid $177 for her ticket in Toronto, where she said she felt “sorry” for the Clintons, who would have to look out at “large swaths of empty seats.”

The scheduled April 2019 appearance would come almost four years to the day since Hillary Clinton announced her second presidential bid, which she ultimately lost to President Trump. The upset continues to feature prominently in her public remarks, amid speculation over whether she might try one more time for the White House.

Ticket prices, though, have seemed to reflect slumping interest in the Clinton tour.

For the Houston-area event originally slated for Dec. 4, tickets on the official venue website were going for between $29.50 and $399. But a search on second-party sites, like StubHub, revealed tickets going for as low as $7.

By contrast, Michelle Obama is on her own speaking tour to promote her memoir "Becoming." Tickets to see Mrs. Obama reportedly have ranged from $300 to $2,500. Obama also canceled her event stops this week in Paris and Berlin to attend Bush's funeral.

A spokesperson for Live Nation Houston, the organization representing the Sugar Land event, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on how many tickets had been sold for the Dec. 4 event.

The delay, in the wake of Bush’s death, is not a surprise. The former presidents became close friends over the years, despite their original political rivalry.

Bill Clinton, who defeated Bush in his bid for a second term in 1992, on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” read the encouraging letter that Bush left for him in the Oval Office after he was sworn in as president.

“This letter is a statement of who he is,” Clinton said. “That’s why he’s a world-class human being in my book … It’s been one of the great joys of my life, my friendship with him. Our arguments were good-natured and open, and we continued to debate things all the way up until recently.”

Bush died at the age of 94, just eight months after the death of his wife Barbara, whom he was married to for more than 70 years.