Former US Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to dodge a shoe thrown at her from the audience while she gave a speech in Las Vegas on Thursday.
The bizarre incident happened while the likely presidential candidate gave a paid speech to an industry group.
Quick to react, Clinton flinched and sidestepped to her left, at first yelling, “Was that a bat!”
In the audience, the woman who appeared to have thrown the shoe immediately raised her hands and began walking out of the auditorium, escorted by security personnel.
Clinton quickly began joking about what had occurred, saying: “Is that somebody throwing something at me? Was that part of Cirque de Soleil? My goodness, I didn’t know solid waste management was so controversial. Thank goodness she didn’t play softball like I did.”
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The incident immediately conjured the memory of former president George W. Bush having shoes thrown at him by an outraged Iraqi journalist in 2008:
It wasn’t immediately clear what motivated the woman—who authorities have said will not be arrested—to target Clinton. The New York Daily News reports that an attendee of the event “later handed a reporter a piece of paper that was apparently thrown by the woman. It appeared to be a copy of a Department of Defense document labeled confidential and dated August 1967; it referred to an operation ‘Cynthia’ in Bolivia.”
As the Las Vegas Sun reports, Clinton’s appearance at the trade conference “was part of a cross-country tour in which Clinton is giving paid speeches to industry organizations and appearing before key Democratic Party constituents.”
In the case of President Bush, the shoe-thrower, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, said he was motivated by the death and destruction that resulted from what he called the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Though Thursday’s incident is seemingly not related, most will remember that as a senator at the time, Hillary Clinton also supported and voted to authorize that invasion.
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