Defining Partisan Events?

From a NY Times blog:

….Several leading American Jewish organizations are sponsoring the rally outside the United Nations on Sept. 22 to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mrs. Clinton, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination this year and is now supporting Senator Barack Obama, was one of several New York officials who planned to speak at the event.

The McCain-Palin campaign has been aggressively courting female voters and others who supported Mrs. Clinton’s presidential candidacy. Mrs. Clinton, while urging those voters to support Mr. Obama for president, has been careful to avoid what some of her advisers have described as a potential woman vs. woman showdown with Ms. Palin.

Advisers to Senator Clinton said this morning that she was surprised to learn that Governor Palin had been invited to the event, and that the Clinton camp did not want to be drawn into a politically loaded moment where the two women might be pitted against each other. Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee, and Mr. Obama are also competing for votes for Jewish Americans whose concerns about Iran will be a centerpiece of the protest rally.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Philippe Reines, said in an interview that Ms. Palin’s participation in the rally had prompted the senator to decide to skip the rally.

“Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” said a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Philippe Reines, this morning. “Senator Clinton will therefore not be attending.”

A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign swiftly replied that the rally should not be seen as a partisan event.

“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,” said the spokeswoman, Tracey Schmitt….

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