Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe toward her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on April 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

Shoe-Thrower Targets Hillary Clinton in Vegas

Motivation remains murky, but incident reminiscent of targeting of George W. Bush for destruction of Iraq

Jon Queally, staff writer

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.”

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.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Progressives, Big Tech Critics Celebrate Confirmation of Lina Khan as FTC Chair

"Her presence on the FTC marks the beginning of the end of an era of lawlessness for powerful corporations that they've enjoyed at the expense of workers, smaller businesses, and democracy."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·

'Our Democracy Hangs in the Balance': Calls Grow for Justice Breyer to Retire

"Democrats could lose our razor-thin majority in the Senate at any moment," warns Rep. Mondaire Jones. "It would be irresponsible to leave the future of our democracy up to chance."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·

Share of Fossil Fuels in Global Energy Mix 'Has Not Moved by an Inch' in a Decade

"We are waking up to the bitter reality that the climate policy promises over the past 10 years have mostly been empty words," said the executive director of REN21, which released the new report.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·

Latest Nina Turner Ad in Ohio Highlights Working-Class Need for Medicare for All

"Wealth should never dictate whether you are able to see a doctor or live a healthy life."

Jenna McGuire, staff writer ·

Biden Admin Urged to 'Prevent a Historic Wave of Evictions' by Extending CDC Moratorium, Speeding Up Aid

"Far too many renters are struggling to access emergency rental assistance programs and are at risk of losing their homes when the moratorium expires," said the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·