Hillary Clinton Obituary Hoax Prompts Secret Service Investigation
A Bernie Sanders supporter submitted Hillary Rodham Clinton’s obituary to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday. This campaign season has seen a number of political stunts, but this might be the first to get the Secret Service involved.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the man identified himself as Don Schubert, and he was asked to leave after filling out the standard obituary form. He named Clinton’s date of death as February 20 — the day of the Nevada Caucus.
Schubert had complained to the newspaper about Hillary Clinton before, saying that the Iowa caucuses were determined by coin flips in the former secretary of state’s favor. The man left the newspaper in a Maroon Prius covered in Bernie Sanders stickers. Likewise, the Sanders campaign has Schubert’s home in Long Beach, California, as the site of a volunteer phone bank.
The Sanders campaign has not responded to the incident.
The two campaigns have been clashing over a number of potentially dubious tactics, but there is no proof the obituary was a coordinated stunt. Still, it got enough attention for the Secret Service.
Schubert was reportedly contacted by Secret Service officials, but he does not expect to be arrested.
Special agent Martin Mulholland emailed the Washington Post about the incident.
“Our Las Vegas Field Office is conducting appropriate investigative follow up in conjunction with our local law enforcement partners.”
When pressed about the obituary, Schubert said it was “political humor,” and was meant as a prediction that his candidate would win the Nevada caucus rather than an actual threat to Hillary Clinton.
That prediction did not come true. As recently reported by the Inquisitr, Clinton did win the Nevada Caucus, picking up 19 delegates (Sanders will receive 14) at the time of this report.
Schubert’s obituary was not the only strange political stunt before the Nevada vote. The National Nurses United, a union and professional association for registered nurses, showed up in Las Vegas to support Sanders. But when they arrived they saw Clinton supporters were changing their shirts to look like NNU members.
The NNU members were wearing red, while Clinton’s supporters’ shirts were reportedly dark pink.
The nurses union incident was reportedly just one of several clashes between the two camps.
In the end, Hillary Clinton did win the Nevada caucus by roughly 5 percent. That’s bad news for Bernie Sanders who was running nearly neck to neck with Clinton according to the polls, and who faces a much more difficult battle in South Carolina. Nate Silver is currently saying the former secretary of state is almost certain to win that primary on his blog, giving her an over 99 percent chance of winning.
Still, that doesn’t mean the race is decided. As Quartz recently pointed out, Hillary Clinton had a traditional strategy in 2008, concentrating on the early races to build momentum and take the White House. Obama, instead, focused on delegate math — not necessarily winning primaries, but taking as many delegates from each race as they could manage.
In Nevada, for example, Clinton won the primary, but Obama actually got one more delegate thanks to a quirk in the state’s election rules. That strategy won him the nomination.
In the 2016 race, it’s not clear if the Vermont senator has a similar election strategy, but he is still maintaining a decent delegate count. According to Real Clear Politics, Sanders currently has 50 pledged delegates, and Clinton has 51, despite her winning two out of three contests.
If Sanders can find a way to overcome Hillary’s superdelegate advantage and take a lesson from President Obama, the Clinton campaign, not her, might need an actual obituary.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]