UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Sen. John McCain may take his running mate Sarah Palin to the United Nations next week, U.N. officials said on Tuesday, to give her the chance to meet a few world leaders,
Speaking on condition of anonymity, several U.N. officials told Reuters that they were preparing for a possible visit by the Republican candidates next Tuesday, the day President George W. Bush and one of his main foes, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, address the 192 U.N. member states.
McCain campaign officials declined to comment on the possible visit.
Others addressing the annual gathering of world leaders at U.N. headquarters next Tuesday are French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
The Wall Street Journal cited an unnamed Republican strategist as saying a visit to the United Nations would boost the Alaska governor’s foreign policy credentials.
Separately, a group of Jewish organizations issued a press release saying that both Palin and Sen. Hillary Clinton would take part in a demonstration outside the United Nations against Ahmadinejad, who has said Israel should be wiped off the map.
Although Palin, 44, has brought new energy to the McCain campaign and helped narrow Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s lead in opinion polls, Democrats say the mother of five lacks the foreign policy experience a vice president should have.
Palin has traveled very little outside the United States and recently came under fire after the Boston Globe revealed she had not been in Iraq as she had claimed, but only visited a checkpoint on the Kuwait-Iraqi border to meet U.S. troops.
One U.N. diplomat joked that a visit to the United Nations in New York would add one more trip outside the United States to Palin’s resume -- a reference to the fact that the U.N. compound is technically not on U.S. territory.
Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Chris Wilson