Speeches Made Entertaining – RSI Swiss Radio and TV

An evening with Barack Obama at the Hallenstadion Zurich drew a huge crowd on Saturday. an audience that had to pay between 59 and 564 francs for a ticket. There are also those who spent an extra 2,500 to take a selfie with the former US president.

What happened Saturday night in Zurich was the first of three similar events in Europe. In the coming days, Obama will in fact also stop in Amsterdam (May 1) and Berlin (May 3). Two similar events already occurred a month ago in Australia.

Such evenings are not uncommon for former US presidents, he says Claudia Franziska BruehellerProfessor of American Studies: “This is nothing exceptional: speeches are a lucrative business for former presidents. However, it is very unusual for them to go abroad to give speeches.”

With a ticket to the evening event with the former US President

With a ticket for the evening event with former US President Keystone.

These are events – the expert emphasizes this once again – that have no political significance. “It takes place behind closed doors, so it has no effect on public opinion. In Switzerland, then, Obama, who no longer holds office, has no political interests to defend. These events are a form of entertainment.”

Kind of a well-paid show, then. “Without wanting to give any hints, money plays an important role,” notes Claudia Franziska Bruehweiler. “We know, for example, that Barack Obama gave a speech to a financial company asking for $400,000 there, and his and his wife’s publishing contracts are $60 million. As for him, the contact also certainly gets him excited.”

In tune with Barack Obama

In tune with Barack Obama

On Saturday, Obama arrived at Hallenstadion around 7 p.m. for an event that was running out. In fact, some tickets to meet the former president remained unsold.

A standing ovation for former President Obama

“It’s great to be here.” It’s great to be here: according to various news portals, former President Barack Obama said this while entering the Hallenstadion in Zurich, where the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Organizers said the number was about 12,000 people.
Obama also stunned the Zurich audience with a sarcastic quip: “The Oval Office (the official study of US presidents, ed.) is much smaller than what you see in movies,” he declared. “When you walk in, you’re very disappointed the first time,” he answers to those who asked him what surprised him most about his eight years in office.
Throughout the evening, Barack Obama held free-form discussions about creativity, corporate responsibility, leadership, and transformation through work. The former president was interviewed by German TV presenter Klas Hofer Umlauf for about an hour.

Obama in Zurich

TG 20 on Saturday 04.29.2023

No photos of the evening’s event (for now)

As for the portraits of Barack Obama at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, one has to be patient. Photos taken by a few accredited photographers – SRF writes – should, in fact, first be verified by the office of the former US president. It will be available with a delay of about twenty-four hours, according to the organizers.


Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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