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Sarah Palin 'disinvited' from 'Stop Iran' event at U.N.

September 18, 2008 |  7:13 pm

When The Ticket first heard of the planned "Stop Iran" rally planned Monday at the United Nations, the intriguing element was the prospect of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin both participating.

Now, neither will be there.

On Wednesday, aides to Clinton announced she was bailing. They explained that she had been unaware of Palin's possible presence (which had not been finalized) and upon learning of it decided the gathering would have partisan overtones.

Having handled the guest list less-then-adroitly, the rally's organizers decided Thursday to withdraw the invitation to Palin. Designed to correspond with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attendance at the U.N.'s General Assembly meeting, the rally will still take place, but with something less than the buzz it might have had.

The National Coalition to Stop Iran Now said in a statement:

In order to keep the focus on Iranian threats and to ensure that this critical message not be obscured, the organizers of the rally have decided not to have any American political personalities appear.

John McCain's campaign also felt compelled to issue a comment that includes casting aspersions at Barack Obama. As has become de rigueur for the GOP camp, it questioned his motives in apparently resisting a push from McCain that he show up in lieu of Clinton. Here's that part of the statement:

Gov. Palin was pleased to accept an invitation to address this rally and show her resolve on this grave national security issue, regrettably that invitation has since been withdrawn under pressure from Democratic partisans.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with Republicans, Democrats and independents alike to oppose Ahmadinejad's goal of a nuclear armed Iran. Sen. Obama's campaign had the opportunity to join us. Sen. Obama chose politics rather than the national interest.

[UPDATE: An Obama spokesman, Tommy Vietor, responded with an e-mail that said in part: "This is another dishonorable lie from John McCain. The Obama campaign had planned to send a surrogate to the rally." Vietor also scolded McCain for refusing "to stand up to his allies in Congress " who this week blocked an Obama bill aimed at helping states and private pension funds divest from companies that invest in Iran.]

[UPDATE II: On a lighter note, Jay Leno has this joke in his monologue on "The Tonight Show:" "Hillary Clinton canceled an appearance at an upcoming rally next week in New York after learning that Sarah Palin would be there. Ironically, Bill Clinton had previously canceled after finding out that Hillary would be there." ]

-- Don Frederick