Earlier this month, The Washington Post published an article titled, “Disdain for Trump and Clinton is so strong, even the dead are campaigning.” The article opened with the story of Mary Anne Noland, a 68-year-old Richmond native who had recently died – but not before making arrangements for a final, posthumous political statement in her obituary.
“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God,” her obituary read.
That bold statement made waves on social media, piquing the interest of The Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy. McCoy contacted Legacy.com to find out whether political obits were an established phenomenon or an emerging trend.
Katie Falzone, Legacy.com’s vice president of operations, conducted an analysis and found that although political obits have been around for years, they’re more popular than ever in 2016.
Here’s a peek at the numbers:
“Between June 2003 and June 2004 … only five notices mentioned the presidential contest between George W. Bush and John F. Kerry. Over those same months leading up to the 2008 clash between Barack Obama and John McCain, there were 28. Mitt Romney and Obama elicited 22 mentions four years ago.”
In stark contrast, we’ve seen at least 119 notices referencing the political battle between presumptive presidential nominees Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.
So what’s behind the recent surge in political obits? Read the whole story at The Washington Post to learn more.
National Public Radio’s Scott Simon also reached out to Legacy to discuss political endorsements in obituaries. Access the Weekend Edition Saturday segment at npr.org.