First Hillary Clinton canceled her invitation to speak at a NY rally to stop Iran from getting nukes because having a prominent Democratic woman speak alongside a prominent Republican woman, Sarah Palin, is “partisan”.
Then the National Jewish Democratic Council(NJDC) called to have Sarah Palin removed from the speakers’ list, the justification being that this protest “is too important to be tainted by partisanship” (hat tip: Opinion Journal):
WASHINGTON, DC – Marc R. Stanley, Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), released the following statement:
Monday’s protest against Ahmadinejad is too important to be tainted by partisanship. Unfortunately, the campaign of Senator John McCain is much more interested in scoring political points than insuring there is bipartisan solidarity around the anti- Ahmadinejad efforts. Therefore, we call upon the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations to withdraw the invitation to Governor Sarah Palin and we applaud Senator Hillary Clinton’s decision to not attend the rally after the attendance of Palin was announced.
By withdrawing Palin’s invitation, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations will be able to return the focus to America’s outrage towards the genocidal musings and nuclear ambitions of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The NJDC is obviously a partisan group and Clinton admittedly has a conflict of interest if she attends (although I still think it’s bullshit). But for the NJDC to “applaud” Clinton’s decision not to attend because Palin was going seems a contradiction of priorities. Wouldn’t the NJDC want to have a strong showing of Democratic players at the anti-Ahmadinejad rally? And the second sentence is complete bullshit:
Unfortunately, the campaign of Senator John McCain is much more interested in scoring political points than insuring there is bipartisan solidarity around the anti- Ahmadinejad efforts.
There WAS bipartisan solidarity until Clinton decided she couldn’t show up. Why should Palin base her decision on whether or not to come on Clinton, or Obama for that matter? It’s the Obama camp here that’s playing politics and not sending a strong message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and this argument to disinvite Palin is the stupidest I’ve ever heard.
Unfortunately however, it worked. From the Jerusalem Post (bold added by me):
Organizers of an anti-Iran rally next week have dropped Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin from the event, days after Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton pulled out.
The National Coalition to Stop Iran Now said Thursday that it would put on a rally without “American political personalities” and Palin won’t be there.
The move angered Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who accused Democratic rivals of having his running mate disinvited. All Americans should agree on the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, he said.
“Governor Palin was pleased to accept an invitation to address this rally and show her resolve on this grave national security issue,” McCain said in a statement. He blamed “Democratic partisans” and Barack Obama’s campaign for pressing organizers to dump Palin.
A number of American Jewish organizers are staging the rally in New York City against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They had announced earlier this week that the event would feature both Clinton and Palin.
Clinton aides fumed over what they saw as a slight by organizers, because they had no idea until told by reporters that Palin was supposed to attend as well.
The New York senator had agreed weeks ago to attend the rally, but abruptly backed out late Tuesday, as soon as she learned of the pairing. Clinton, whose historic bid for the presidency came up short, has sought to avoid a public face-off with Palin. A Clinton-Palin double billing at such an event would have been awkward.
Casey Sanders, a spokeswoman for rally organizers, had no explanation for why Palin shouldn’t be there or who decided that.
The Republican ticket of John McCain and Palin is working hard to win over disappointed Clinton supporters, particularly women voters. And Obama, who beat Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been trying to assure Jewish voters that he is firmly committed to Israel’s security.
McCain’s campaign did not explain why it thinks Democrats and the Obama camp were behind the rescinded invitation.
The Palin camp criticized Clinton for backing out, saying all parties should rally together in opposition to the threat posed by a nuclear Iran.
Pathetic. Really pathetic on the part of both the Obama and Clinton camps. If a Clinton-Palin face-off would have been too “awkward”, they should have at least sent Joe Biden to the rally instead and show bipartisan solidarity with the two VP nominees. But they didn’t. They turned a bipartisan event into a partisan one, then into a “nonpartisan” event. Their actions say a lot about Obama’s supposed commitment to Israel’s security. Obama is not firmly committed to Israel’s security. Obama is firmly committed to getting himself elected.
And even more outrageous, the LA Times blog manages to twist this whole incident into a McCain camp plot:
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.]
Yeah sure. It’s all McCain’s fault. Obviously.
Well, unlike Ms. Clinton, I will be at the September 22 rally to Stop Iran from getting nukes. The partisan imp in me almost considered not going so as to punish the event organizers for denying me the opportunity to hear Gov. Sarah Palin. But unlike certain others, I’m still going because I think the threat of nuclear Iran is above partisan politics.