Her spokesman claims he doesn’t know if she was or not, but come on.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, his controversial running-mate, will not attend the dinner, Bill McAllister, a Palin spokesman tells Mother Jones…

Was she even invited? “I don’t know if she was invited,” McCallister says. Don’t know? How could that be? It’s hard to miss an invitation from a presidential inauguration committee. For its part, Obama’s inaugural committee has declined to say whether an invitation was sent to Palin. Repeated phone calls to its press office produced no answer to this simple question…

If Palin was left off the guest list, it’s not clear whether the snub came from McCain or the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Isn’t it? I’m tempted to poll that question but we all know how it would go. Speaking of which, Rick Santorum chimes in this morning on why The One is bending over backwards to honor McCain: Because he knows a dependable maverick when he sees one.

In McCain’s mind, however, losing the presidency will not be the final chapter of his life story. He knows the path to “Big Media” redemption. Working with the man who vanquished him in November will show them all the real McCain again.

Remember, it was this onetime prisoner of war who led the charge to open diplomatic relations with Vietnam. If that past is prologue, and McCain’s legislative record is any guide, he will not just join with Obama but lead the charge in Congress on global warming, immigration “reform,” the closing of Guantanamo, federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research, and importation of prescription drugs.

But McCain won’t stop there in his effort to rehabilitate himself in the media’s – or maybe his own – eyes. He will forge common ground on a long list of initiatives that go far beyond where he has gone before, including the stimulus package.

So obviously true is this that I’m not going to bother polling it, either. Instead, let’s approach the question this way: Are there any major policy initiatives on which McCain will break sharply with Obama? You’re all going to say Iraq but you’re kidding yourselves. For one thing, they’re already working hard to assimilate Maverick’s chief crony on that, and for another, he and Obama have always been more in sync on this subject than most of us would like to admit. In fact, if The One does try to speed up his withdrawal plans, the first person he’ll call to ask for cover on that is McCain. McCain might not give it to him, but the gesture at least will prevent him from leading some sort of GOP insurrection.