On Tuesday, organizers of a rally to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presence at the United Nations next week announced two very special guests: Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.
If you happened to hear about this joint appearance and were puzzled, well, you weren't the only one. It's not a surprise that Clinton would attend, as New York's congressional delegation showed up in force the last time there were protests against Ahmadinejad's being at the U.N. (Clinton was campaigning at the time.) And it's not a surprise that Palin would be there -- she'll be at the U.N. anyway, and the McCain campaign is hoping to reach out to the Jewish community; in some ways, Palin has made that outreach more difficult, so the campaign's presumably trying to compensate. But the two of them together? That's a surprise.
And, it turns out, Clinton herself was surprised too. She had no idea Palin was invited, and her aides heard about it for the first time from reporters who asked about it. "Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event," Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines told the Associated Press. "Sen. Clinton will therefore not be attending."
Personally, I'm disappointed Clinton found out before the rally itself. I was so hoping to hear her say, "I was told I would be addressing you alone." At least we can imagine what it might have been like ...