October 31st, 2008
03:46 PM ET
5 years ago

Does an 'October surprise' still lurk?

Reporters pressed Kerry about the Osama bin Laden tape.
Reporters pressed Kerry about the Osama bin Laden tape.

(CNN) – It's Halloween on Friday, but campaign aides to Barack Obama and John McCain may be spooked for another reason: Events that dominated the news in the dwindling days before the previous two presidential elections may have been game-changers.

Aides to Sen. John Kerry were increasingly confident of victory four days before the 2004 election, believing the Massachusetts senator performed strongly in three debates with President Bush and was buoyed by polls showing a last-minute surge for the Democratic ticket.

But that was before Osama bin Laden weighed in.

On Friday, October 29, the 9/11 mastermind released a videotape to Arab television network al-Jazeera, in which he condemned President Bush's response to the 9/11 attacks and told the American people, "Your security is in your own hands."

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soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. POEMAN

    I would hope that the people in the US would be smart enough to see through the tricks and treats that we have fallen for in the past. This election is too important!

    October 31, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. GA Independent

    Let's hope that folks on both sides have seen more than enough information about the two candidates at this point to make a decision on their own.

    Do NOT allow some crazy's words in another country destroy what WE THE PEOPLE are all about. We really are smarter than that.

    October 31, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. we won't fall for it again

    Palin is scarier than bin Laden

    October 31, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. NOT IN FLORIDA

    WERE VOTING IN RECORD NUMBERS, LINES ARE STILL 4 HOURS LONG TWO WEEKS LATER AND YOUR POLLS ARE WRONG! YOU WANT TO KEEP IT TIGHT FOR HIGH RATINGS.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16!

    October 31, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Bea

    CNN...it's okay....we don"t need any more drama...so stop with this hype and let's focus on the issues......

    October 31, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. LS, Austin, Texas

    Bush's 2004 presidential win was rigged, which was no surprise.

    The only thing that would surprise people would be if McCain actually put 'country first' and dropped out of the race.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. dizizi31

    Yes there will be an October surprise!! in 2001 the nation came together to help those victims of 911. Do you recall the hundreds of employees, fire, police personnel who came to the aid of the victimes. The victims color wasn't called out only their name and ALL AMERICANS HELPED WHEN AND WHERE THEY COULD. Go back a few more years and the Oklahoma City Bombing of the Federal Building ALL AMERICANS HELPED WHEN AND WHERE THEY COULD. DO YOU RECALL THE IMAGE OF THE FIREMAN AND THE LITTLE GIRL. DO YOU EVEN THINK HE CONSIDERED HER COLOR BEFORE HE HELPED HER? OF COURSE NOT!! HE ACTED BY HOW HE WAS TRAINED. IN THE WAKE OF THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS ALL AMERICANS NEED TO HELP WHEN AND WHERE THEY CAN TO RESTORE THE CREDIBILY AND RESPECT OF THE WORLD THE USA ONCE HAD. LET'S NOT LET VOTER FRAUD AND VOTING MACHINES PROGRAMMED INCORRECTLY OR MISFUNCTIONING ON PURPOSE DESTROY WHAT WE ALL LOVE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY. IN TIMES OF CRISIS THERE IS ONLY ONE AMERICA.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. vw

    As for this issue, John McCain is the only choice.
    No national safety, no prosperous economy.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Vote Early

    CNN,

    ,,,,,,,,Just Shut Up,,,,,,

    it would happen if u talk about how much $$$$$$ Sarah Palin spent to remode her office from the taxpayers $$$$......

    Helloooooooo.....CNN, why there is no report about this??

    SHe is no leader, she is no reformer..

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Ya_Ya

    I think that the October surprise is that John McNasty organization gave 500 large to Khalidi's organization. The only problem is that Obama supporters already know, and McNasty's supporters are brain dead.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Darlington

    why is the media tryng to put upp stuff like these? are they trying to scare voters to favor Mccain? c'mon media, you can do better than this! this is a fear card played by the media to help Mccain! Try again!

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Jackie

    The media is making too much out of this. Let's just wait and see what happens. It's almost like they want it to happen so that McCain will win.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. D&D

    I think the only reason Bin Laden released his tape on Oct. 29th four years ago was because he wanted Bush to be elected...knowing that Bush would never catch him, since he was fighting the wrong war!

    The October suprise this year is the fact that there is none!

    Vote early folks if you can, and if you can't, make sure you vote on Nov. 4th for the Obama/Biden ticket.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. here we go

    No, No, No, not this time, enough is enough! God has not given us the spirit of fear!

    Go Obama!

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    An October surprise?

    Not unless Karl Rove has been working behind the scenes.

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Abby

    Not this time. Not this year.

    YES WE CAN

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. CONCERN

    We know how GWB took care of Osama bin Laden!!
    Not going to work this time!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. AJ

    That would be disturbingly scary. I don't think I could handle another episode of stolen election again.

    October 31, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. A Real American

    Frankly, I'm more concerned about the homegrown terrorists in the Republican Party stealing our election than I am about Osama bin Hiden.

    October 31, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Sally from Cali

    Osama already endorsed McCain. He said it would be good to have an impetuous president (aka: running around like a dog chasing his tail – no offense dogs, especially lipstick wearing pit bulls). No surprise there.

    If McCain wins, that would be grand theft election. Does the government have a plan for half the country having anxiety attacks and depression? And is Canada and Mexico prepared for the potential immigration issues?

    October 31, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. vince

    with the economy the way it is bin laden could walk right by mcinsain or falin and they wouldnt even notice him. just got back from voting here in the great red state of oklahoma (haha) i know my vote cant turn it blue not enough voters with common sense out here but im not going to throw my vote away so all you votere in swing states make sure you vote obama turn them blue. someday oklahoma will wake up and smell the coffee.lol

    October 31, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Vote Early

    October 31st, 2008 3:08 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    CNN,

    ,,,,,,,,Just Shut Up,,,,,,

    it would happen if u talk about how much $$$$$$ Sarah Palin spent to remodel her office from the taxpayers $$$$……

    Helloooooooo…..CNN, why there is no report about this??

    She is no leader, she is no reformer..

    CNN is bed W/ Republicans....(Lou Dobbes & Glenn Beck)

    October 31, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. John. Austin, TX

    The only surprise I want to see is Palin get impeached in Alaska, and McCain lose Arizona. That will cure my election addiction withdrawels.

    October 31, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. THE US OF WHAT?

    On Friday, October 29, the 9/11 mastermind released a videotape to Arab television network al-Jazeera, in which he condemned President Bush's response to the 9/11 attacks and told the American people, "Your security is in your own hands."

    This why I don't trust america. There isno way in hell I believe any of this above BS. I can't stand the Republican party and even if this is true I can't stand MCCAIN he can't lead my 8 year old out of Disneyland, he is dirty and all the Republicans are doing is raising fear and trying to do a desperate act to try and sway people to McCAIN. Damm it I aint buying it. I don't think MCCAIN is better then OBAMA in anything, not one damm thing.

    THIS IS BS!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Don

    The October surprise is that the media is still not covering Barack Obama and letting the American people have a real look at who this man is..He has used the media and now the media has abused us. I do not hate Obama, but the fact that certain media outlets refuse to even question this candidate is a threat to our democracy..So yes, the surprise would be if CNN and others would actually pull away from the Obama lovefest and do their jobs.

    October 31, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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