Art Imitates Life: Palin, Clinton, and the Anti-Iran Crowd
On Saturday Night Live’s September 13, 2008 season opener, Tina Fey took the show and wowed the broader viewership with her rendition of Governor Sarah Palin. At her side, Amy Poehler played a bitter Hillary Clinton.
The fictional dual-appearance curiously played itself out in real life only a few days later in New York.
In a somewhat embarrassing case of double-booked talent, a loose confederacy of American Jewish groups had separately invited both Governor Palin and Senator Clinton to participate in a “Rally to Stop Iran Now” event.
At issue is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s planned attendance at the opening of the UN General Assembly this coming week in New York. The Jewish coalition’s intention was to make this visit uncomfortable, and in reaching out to both women, they wanted headlining names to help with overall visibility and impact.
Well, when Hillary Clinton discovered that she would be sharing a ticket with Sarah Palin, she promptly cancelled her appearance at the commitment. According to the Clinton camp, Govenor Palin’s potential presence at the rally was a surprise and was far more abrasive than the issue of Iran as a nuclear threat.
Please forgive this author for not sympathizing with Senator Clinton’s indulgent outrage. Maybe Iran’s potential nuclear arsenal transcends the catty behaviors of educated adult women.
Maybe Senator Clinton’s pouty behavior is just too adolescent for this writer’s stomach.
As a proud and practicing nihilist, I must report that Iran’s nuclear threat is not a Jewish issue. It is a global issue. The International Atomic Energy Agency has recently documented evidence of Iran’s intent to attach nuclear warheads to existing Iranian long-range missiles.
Governor Palin – undeterred by Senator Clinton’s withdrawal – had every intention of attending the rally, but she was disinvited. There is no clear reason for her dismissal, other than partisan grounds. In reaction, Senator McCain released the following statement:
“Next Monday, the day before Iranian President Ahmadinejad is to speak before the United Nations General Assembly, several organizations will sponsor an event to draw attention to the importance of halting Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Governor Palin and I share a strong belief that a nuclear-armed Iran poses a great threat to the security of Americans and to our allies. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. The risk that Iran would provide terrorists with a nuclear weapon is too great for the world to ignore. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust occurred and called Israel a ‘stinking corpse.’ A nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize the entire region. Preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons should be a shared goal of every American, not another occasion for partisan posturing. Governor 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. Senaor Obama’s campaign had the opportunity to join us. Senator Obama chose politics rather than the national interest.”
The remarkably strange nature of this election invites a reflexive satire that has yet to find a border. This reflex may be symptomatic greater stresses – fault lines along a more pending unease.
But the events of the last few days are playing out in an unusually prescient manner. Given this, it is worthwhile to experience the fictional parallel in its entirety:
Tags: Governor Palin , SNL , Clinton , Comedy , Iran , Nuclear Weapons , Election , Republican , McCain , Obama
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