Today Hillary Clinton is being derided for backing out of a rally at the United Nations to protest Iranian nuclear development once she found out that Sarah Palin would also be there.
I think she made a wise decision. There is nothing wrong with protesting Iranian nuclear development or the failure of the U.N. to take a stronger stand against it (though I believe that the Iranians will do what they want to do whether the U.N. toughens their stand or not; and our own misadventure in Iraq has effectively taken any real threat of a U.S. invasion of Iran off the table for the foreseeable future since we right now don't have the available military units to be able to carry it out.)
There is also nothing wrong with Governor Palin going as a representative of the McCain campaign, clearly indicating Senator McCain's support for stronger U.N. action against Iran.
The reason Hillary was right to decide against going is that she might have been stuck with a no-win situation, completely unrelated to Iran or nukes.
Keep in mind that last week Hillary informed the Obama campaign that while she is willing to keep up the attack on McCain she refused to jump all over Palin. And I can see why that is, she herself would gain nothing from such an attack and frankly is probably happy in at least the most general sense that a woman (even one she herself would never support) is now running for VP. It does in a sense validate the historic nature of Hillary Clinton's campaign earlier this year.
Suppose that Governor Palin made a point of seeking out Senator Clinton and making a light conversation, possibly including a handshake? In this hyper-political year, that would be all over the front page and would seem to imply that Hillary at least found a McCain-Palin Presidency acceptable (remember that the McCain folks have spent a lot of time and effort going after disaffected Clinton supporters.) So if that is not a message that Hillary Clinton wants to send she can't afford to be photographed yukking it up while shaking hands with Sarah Palin (though publically neither woman has said anything negative about the other recently).
The other alternative, to publically snub Governor Palin, would be even worse. That would cast Hillary as purely a party hack (not that you would find many Republicans who would say she's not, but it's still a label she doesn't want to refresh.) It would also cast her to a lot of people as rude and would seem to undercut the whole success she had in earning 18 million votes. And that would also be a headline that the Obama campaign doesn't need right now, with Obama gaining momentum in the polls this week thanks to a combination of the Lehman Brothers-Dow Jones-AIG economic woes and McCain's gaffe on Monday that have definitively moved the focus away from Sarah Palin and onto the economy.
So going to the rally was a lose-lose proposition for Hillary. True she is now still getting some bad press (and the right will spin this is a snub of Palin anyway) but it's a minor story and doesn't look one fiftieth as bad as a face to face snub would be.