ABC News' Kate Snow and Eloise Harper Report: The Secret Service has been alerted to an apparent death threat made against '08 presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
As a former First Lady, the Senator is afforded protection by the U.S. Secret Service, unlike some of her lesser know rivals at this early stage in the 2008 presidential campaign.
But already, the additional security protection seems warranted.
On Sunday, a threatening rant was posted on a website run by Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill.'s campaign. "You're too black for whites and too white for blacks," the author said of Obama. "But please put up a good fight for us - and if you get a chance to shove a pillow over Hillary's face and smother her to death before the primaries, 20 black-eyed virgins will wait on you in paradise."
A campaign staffer for Obama tells ABC News the posting clearly violated the rules of not posting "threatening" language, and it was removed when it was discovered. However, it had reportedly been on the site for several hours at that point.
"Those comments are absolutely deplorable and we removed them from the website," said Bill Burton with the Obama campaign.
"You run just this sort of risk when you've got an open website and a campaign focused on the grassroots," said Burton. "But, frankly, despicable comments like these are in the vast minority among positive input from thousands of individuals from around the country." Campaign sources say the Secret Service was alerted about the online threat.
A Hillary for President spokesperson said the campaign staff never discuss her security arrangements publicly. But reporters have recently observed Secret Service agents in action at campaign events in Iowa and New Hampshire. Part of that security involves bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors.
Senator Clinton often mingles with the crowd after large events, and agents are constantly watching over the people who approach her.
In fact, some staffers have joked about how much time Senator Clinton is spending glad-handing after events. "You think she's going to turn out the lights on the way out?" One quipped in Davenport, Iowa, when the Senator was one of the last in a dwindling crowd still chatting long after the formal town hall meeting was over.