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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Did Obama Throw Hillary Under The Bus? Hillary Clinton Cancels Appearance At Rally When Told Sarah Palin Would Be Attending

A number of American Jewish Groups planned a rally to be held outside the United Nations to protest Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and invited members from each political party. Clinton accepted the invite then canceled when told Palin would attend.

Hillary Clinton aides tell Fox News Clinton canceled after hearing Sarah Palin would also be attending, saying she didn't want to be seen beside the Republican vice presidential candidate in a "partisan" event.

Event organizers had invited members of both political parties so the event would be non-partisan and hours before Clinton canceled, the Jewish group leading the event had sent out an email stating "We are pleased to inform you that the keynote speakers at the “Stop Iran. Now!” Rally are confirmed to be Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Governor Sarah Palin and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel," according to CNN's Political Ticker.

Clinton spokesperson Philippe Reines, said in a statement "Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event. Sen. Clinton will therefore not be attending.”

A spokesperson for the John McCain campaign, Tracey Schmitt, responded to the Clinton cancellation with "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."

The rally is being hosted by several Jewish groups, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now, United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Both McCain and Barack Obama have made strong appeals to Jewish voters, particularly in critical states like Florida. Obama has emphasized to Jewish audiences his commitment to Israel’s security, and has worked to dispel doubts created by false rumors that he is Muslim.

Clinton, a New York senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, has generally been supported by American Jews. But Micah Halperin, a Middle East expert and syndicated columnist, said it is “problematic” that Clinton decided to back out.

Halperin, who stated he believed Hillary Clinton was a "a far better candidate" than Barack Obama for the Democratic ticket, goes on to assert this cancellation may backfire against Democrats.

Halperin states "Jews traditionally vote Democratic, and if a major Democratic leader does not join in the fight against Iran, where are those voters going to go?” he asked. “It’s problematic from the very point of view that says you have a national political leader who fundamentally is choosing not to stand up against Ahmadenijad.

“It changes my view of (Clinton’s) wisdom, of her ability to take a situation, analyze it and come out on the right side, and that is deeply troubling to almost every voter in America, not just Jewish voters.

Juan Williams, who is a National Public Radio correspondent and a FOX News contributor believes Clinton's cancellation is due to her not wanting to alienate female voters by challenging Palin publicly with white, working class women since McCain has received a bump in support from those very voters since naming Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Whether this was strictly a decision made by Clinton or in conjunction with the Obama campaign is unknown, but it is being attributed to Clinton.

This may not be good for the Democrats in general, but I can see why Hillary Clinton would not want to alienate women voters when she counts on their votes for future elections, whether it is her Senate election or if she decides to take a run at the presidency again.

Many Clinton supporters have gravitating toward Palin and those diehard Clinton supporters are not people that Clinton would want to offend, so rather than being fearful of Palin, I truly think this is more a case of future political survival and understanding that her hard core grassroots base would not want her going head to head with Palin, on behalf of Obama.

If Clinton had won the Democratic nomination for presidency, then her supporters would welcome the two women going head to head, but since Clinton is campaigning for Obama, this changes the whole atmosphere and she could risk the support of her base if she were to play Obama's attack dog against Palin.

She could have shown up in a non-partisan manner, but I doubt the Obama campaign wanted her being seen on the same side of any issue as Palin.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was the Obama campaign that pressured Clinton into not showing up just for the rally, without attacking Palin and putting politics aside, simply because Obama would not like the optics of Clinton/Palin standing together on any issue.

If this is true, then Obama has thrown Hillary under the bus by allowing her to take the rap for canceling.