Erstwhile US president, Donald Trump, flagged off his 4- city tour with ex-Fox News TV host Bill O’Reilly on December 11 in Florida. Christened ‘The History Tour,’ the inter-city arrangement will see Trump in Florida and Texas, discussing his presidency with O’Reilly.
“These will be wonderful, but hard-hitting sessions where we will be talking about the reality of what’s happening in the US, those that the Fake News media never mention,” Trump said in a statement dated July 6, 2021.
The next stop in this intercity engagement was Orlando on December 12. The Tour will move to Houston, Texas, on December 18 before ending with Dallas on December 19.
Tickets for the event went up for sale at $100 each in June, while the premium and VIP tickets cost several hundreds of dollars. The premium and VIP packages also include a meet-and-greet along with a photo session. The event begins at 3 PM in each of its destinations.
The ideology behind the choice of cities
“He’s picked Florida and Texas, two places that are very important in terms of raising money for a Republican candidate, and also two very GOP friendly places, as opposed to going to a place such as California,” Joshua Scacco, an Associate Professor of Political Communication at the University of South Florida, told Newsweek.
“They’re picking from the audiences in friendly places where they can also raise money. So that’s base politics. It’s a form of keeping yourself relevant and trying to gain some attention.”
Scacco added the Tour is yet another way for Trump to “keep up the speculation” of running for President again.
“If he decides to run for President again, he will need to compete in a Republican primary with other candidates potentially. So he needs to continue to show his relevance to that base and continue to make his case to that base.” Scacco added.
Trump hints at the 2024 presidential re-run at Orlando.
For all one knows, Scacco’s statement might be true. Attendees of the History Tour’s show at Orlando claimed that Trump has not blatantly proclaimed his intention to stand for the 2024 presidential elections but hinted at it.
Trump allegedly said that Ron DeSantis “would make a great vice president” if he were to be re-elected.
This is a quintessential Trump tactic, wherein he suggests his heart’s desire and leaves room for himself to walk away without any controversial comment being pinned on him.
Announcement of History Tour fraught with Twitter backlash
With the information of the History Tour on June 7, 2021, came the Twitter backlash, which pointed out that Trump and O’Reilly had a history of sexual harassment allegations pinned on them.
Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary for the Bill Clinton administration, tweeted:
“Between them, there are almost 50 credible allegations of sexual assault and tens of millions of dollars in payouts to silence the accusers. The History Tour should be dubbed the sexual assault tour.”
@BrendaLeeNY tweeted, “How many sexual abuse claims between the two of these guys? Too many for me to count.”
@lflorepolitics tweeted: “The History Tour of Women Abusers.”
Thousands of tickets unsold
Mere days before the Tour flagged off, Newsweek found that tickets for all four venues were widely available. The earliest reports regarding poor sales of access can be dated back to a report in July by Politico, to which O’Reilly and Trump’s spokesperson Liz Harrington, made the following counterclaim, “The History Tour has already sold over $5 million of tickets, and the excitement and enthusiasm are unlike anything we’ve seen before. Come December; the sold-out show will be a memorable night for all.”
Seats visibly empty in Florida and Orlando
According to a report by Sun-Sentinel, “Many seats remained empty in the cavernous” FLA Live Arena, which has a capacity for over 20,000 people, on Saturday.”
The Sun-Sentinel reported that ticket holders were upgraded to seats on the floor level while the upper arena was closed off.
A video posted on Twitter showed plenty of unoccupied seats throughout the Amway Centre, Orlando, with the upper deck sparsely filled.
A Twitter conversation between John Montrose and Brittany Wallman brought to light the status quo of the crowd turnout at Orlando. A snippet of the discussion is as follows:
@MontroseJimmy: Any rough guess about crowd size and what % of the arena is filled?
@BrittanyWallman: This should give you an idea- I don’t have an estimate. Each person paid $138 or more – some people paid thousands for VIP access.
Salt into the presidential defeat wound
It is no secret that Trump has been unable to digest Biden’s victory in the presidential elections. Standing as a testimony to this fact is the glorious Biden smear campaign that has ensued ever since he assumed office.
Throughout his presidency, Trump’s gold standard for success has been the size of the crowds that turn up to his rallies and speeches.
This began from the moment Trump took up office. He and his team repeatedly claimed that his 2017 inauguration had the highest ever public attendance for a president, despite photos proving otherwise.
In a recent interview on British television with Nigel Farage, Trump also lamented that “nobody ever talks about” about how the crowd he spoke to at the January 6 protests before the attack at the Capitol was the “largest crowd I’ve ever spoken to.”
Scacco also agrees that while the ‘optics’ of empty seats might not look good for Trump, whether or not it is truly an indication of the general public’s opinion of him is a different story altogether.
Scacco states that the empty seats may be attributed to many factors. “This is December; it’s the holiday season right before Christmas, a year out from the next set of major elections in the United States, three years out from the next presidential election,” he said.
“Not only that, the branding of it as ‘The History Tour’ might not necessarily be instantly attractive to some audiences,” he added.
How to book tickets for The History Tour show in Houston?
The third stop in The History Tour’s 4-city itinerary is Houston, Texas. The show will commence on December 18 at 3 PM. Tickets for the show are still widely available, according to the Ticketmaster website. Hundreds of tickets remain open for the remaining two dates of the Tour with just days to go. At least 300 resale tickets were available for the Houston event on the website, starting at $77.
Trump expressed his excitement for the Texas episode of the History Tour through the following statement:
“Just leaving Orlando, what a great event. Thank you for a job well done to Bill O’Reilly—the wonderful crowd loved it all. Next weekend, Texas!”
The Ticketmaster site showed at least 200 standard admission tickets still left for the Dallas event as of early Monday.
You can head over to the Ticketmaster website and purchase tickets before they sell out if at all they sell out.
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