Shoe-throwing as a form of protest has never been an American tradition. But, in other parts of the world it’s a symbolic insult. George W. Bush, of course, famously dodged an Iraqi reporter’s heaved footwear during a press conference in Iraq in 2008. The practice, however, appears to be gaining traction in the U.S. On Thursday, Hillary Clinton was the target of what’s reported to be a flying shoe while giving a speech in Las Vegas.
Clinton was giving a speech at a recycling conference at the Mandalay Bay casino when a woman in the audience approached the stage and heaved a shoe at the former secretary of state. Clinton, like Bush, managed to duck. And even joke about it later saying:”Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?” the Associated Press reports. “My goodness, I didn’t know that solid waste management was so controversial,” Clinton said. “Thank goodness she didn’t play softball like I did.”
Here’s more on the aftermath from the AP:
Ilene Rosen, the wife of a conventioneer from Denver who was seated in the second row, said she saw an orange object fly toward the stage from a side aisle and papers fluttering in the air. Rosen said the woman had walked down the aisle to within six rows of the front of the seating area, threw the items, turned around, put her hands in the air and walked toward the back of the room. Security officers quickly caught up with her. In the hotel hallway, the middle-aged blonde woman sat calmly on a sofa, wearing a blue dress and thong sandals. She said she threw a shoe and dropped some papers, but didn’t identify herself to reporters or explain the action. Security officials then ushered reporters and photographers away… An attendee 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.
The woman was taken into custody and, according to the Secret Service, will face criminal charges.