(CNN) - Reporters who got notice yesterday of an event headlined by both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton figured the prospect of an SNL skit come to life was too good to be true, a gift from the campaign gods.
But for a few hours, it was. “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,” read an e-mail from a leader of a Jewish group planning the event.
But the curtain came down on the comedy sketch-turned-reality before the duo ever hit the stage: Clinton officials soon said they had not been told Palin would be on hand — and that her presence, which made the event a political one, would mean the absence of the New York senator.
"Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event," said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines. "Senator Clinton will therefore not be attending."
The McCain-Palin campaign has not yet said whether Palin herself will still be attending the event, but released a statement criticizing Clinton’s withdrawal. "Governor Palin believes that the danger of a nuclear Iran is greater than party or politics,” said spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. “She hopes that all parties can rally together in opposition to this grave threat."
Palin has praised Clinton since being named John McCain’s running mate — although she has largely dropped those compliments from her stump speech after drawing a negative response from GOP audiences. Clinton herself has largely avoided mentioning or directly criticizing the Alaska governor during her appearances on behalf of Barack Obama’s presidential bid.
(Updated to include comment from Clinton spokesman)