Ms. Clinton’s “Bipartisanship”
Remember the Hillary Clinton who touted her experience of reaching across the aisle and working with Republicans? I wonder what happened to her. From the ABC News Political Radar Blog (bold added by me):
No Joint Clinton-Palin Appearance at New York Rally
ABC News’ Imtiyaz Delawala and Teddy Davis Report: In the case of the 2008 presidential election, life does not always imitate the art of well-received Saturday Night Live skit, especially where a joint appearance of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are concerned.
Clinton backed out of a protest scheduled for Monday in New York against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s attendance at the opening of the UN General Assembly after learning that organizers also invited the Republican vice presidential nominee without informing her.
Organized by American Jewish groups, the “Rally to Stop Iran Now” sent out a media advisory billing the joint appearance in their headline: “SEN. HILLARY CLINTON AND GOV. SARAH PALIN AT “RALLY TO STOP IRAN NOW,” AT UNITED NATIONS, MONDAY, SEPT. 22nd, 11:45 A.M.”
The rally will feature Palin as well as Speaker of Israel’s Knesset Dalia Itzik and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.
Clinton aides were described as “furious” after learning from reporters — not rally organizers — of the plan to have Clinton and Palin appear together.
“Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines in a statement to reporters. “Senator Clinton will therefore not be attending.”
Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt released a statement on Clinton’s canceled appearance saying, “Governor Palin believes that the danger of a nuclear Iran is greater than party or politics. She hopes that all parties can rally together in opposition to this grave threat.”
Clinton’s spokesman had no direct response to the argument made by Schmitt.
I do not understand how an event in which a prominent Democrat woman and a prominent Republican woman are both invited to speak is a “partisan” event. I can understand how Clinton might potentially be upset by not knowing the full speakers list. But if she assumed no Republicans (or perhaps, no prominent Republican women, aka Sarah Palin) would be speaking, did she think that meant the event was “bipartisan”? How did the event become “partisan” by having representatives of both parties speak?
Clinton’s canceled appearance is a bad move on all fronts. It’s a bad move for Clinton herself, because the event is organized by a number of American Jewish groups, and Jews represent an important constituency in her state of New York. Clinton also misses out on the major career opportunity of appearing on the same program as Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, an opportunity you’d really have to be a fool to pass up. It’s a bad message to send to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that only half the country is concerned about nuclear Iran. And it’s a bad move for Barack Obama, whom Clinton is campaigning for, because her actions will reflect on him and make him look partisan and petty (so much for all his talk about being a unifier and bringing the country together).