October 31st, 2008
03:46 PM ET
6 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."

Full story

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Noah

    Of course not. We already know of many shady alliances Obama made in the past and none of his blind lemming supporters care about facts. William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Khalidid and ACORN would have each been immediate disqualifiers for any candidate in the past. Obama supporters don't care about facts. They don't care about Obama's shady political career and the fact he has never accomplished anything substantial. They just don't care

    October 31, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. ShirleyY - Seattle

    CNN, STOP LYNCHING OBAMA, ARE YOU WORKING FOR MCCAIN, CNN. LINK MCCAIN TO HIS CORRUPT PARTNERS IN CRIME.

    CNN, IF YOU DONT CHANGE HOW YOU REPORT YOUR NEWS, YOUR RATINGS WILL DROP QUICK.

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. SPT NYC

    Didn't Al Qaeda EXplicitly endorse McCain? Why is that being downplayed by the mainstream networks?

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Michelle, PA

    Anything could happen, of course. But for McCain to try this kind of thing, he would have had to have somebody in his campaign know about it and keep his or her mouth shut. I don't believe that's possible, considering recent events. Obama isn't desperate and has no need for an October Surprise, if he had any dirt he was willing to disseminate it would have been long before now. A third party intervening, reminiscent of the bin Laden tape in 2004? Possible, but we've been there and fallen for that before. Look where it got us. I think – or hope – the American people are smarter than that this time.

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. S. Boatman

    John Mccain Is No Hero! His Maverick Pranks Caused A Series Of Explosions On An Aircraft Carrier That Killed Over A Hundred Soldiers! As A Pilot He Sucked! He Crashed More Times Than He Landed! He Is A Disgrace To The Uniform!

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. marc

    I trust Barack Obama to handle an international crisis more than I do John McPRETENDER. Mr. I have been tested has never given one good example of just what it was that he was tested with. Sitting in wait mode on the USS Enterprise is not being tested.

    JUDGMENT, INTELLIGENCE, ANALYTICAL AND INSIGHTFUL

    OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. FLORIDA for Obama

    ONLY IF JOHN MCCAIN DROPS DEAD

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Dave

    the 9/11 mastermind was George bush not Osama bin Laden. do you think people are stupid? I know you're not gonna post this comment but keep this in mind : we are not stupid!

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. tired of tricky media

    A sitting President and his administration can arrange a lot of surprises.

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Franky

    Tell him to put his money where his lips don't lie...

    I'll make you cry!!! And I don't care...I dare gim to bring up the Rev...I DOUBLE DARE him.

    Put your money where your lips don't talk...

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Accountability

    Yeah...the October surprise will be on November 4th when America rises above tactics that try to scare us, anger us, and keep us apart and instead vote for hope. It will come in the form of an Obama electoral landslide! Congratulations America!

    Obama/Biden '08/12

    October 31, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Nimi from NY

    The only way that could happen is if the Republican party will throw what's remaining in the bathroom at Obama and it sticks. Otherwise they have exhausted everything in the kitchen sink at Obama and it hasn't worked. At least not so far. They've also tried using some things in the bathroom and it hasn't stuck yet. We may be getting some more things in the bath room-probabaly from the toilet bowl. I just hope that it will not stick too. Not if God has some thing to say or do about this election.

    October 31, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. MILDRED JOHNSON

    GOV. PALIN USED THE SAME "SHARE THE WEALTH" SLOGAN IN HER HOME STATE OF ALASKA. SHE GAVE THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA
    MONEY WHEN SHE RAISED TAXES ON BIG OIL COMPANIES. THE WOMAN NEEDS TO REMEMBER WHAT SHE SAID BEFORE SHE OPENS HER MOUTH. GO TO FOX NEWS THE MCCAIN/PALIN CHANNEL IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME. SHE IS A LIAR.

    October 31, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Yes we can!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TOO SMART FOR THESE CHEAP POLITICAL TRICKS!!

    October 31, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. ANDY DAAS

    The tatic will not work this time as people pockest are feeling the
    pain.

    October 31, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Ken in Dallas

    John Smith: True heros of this nation include: those who "face" the enemy in battle; those who feed the poor and the hungry (e.g., Late Mother Theresa); those who fight for the small people; those who stand up for losers!

    -------------------------------

    Are you trying to tell me that McCain voters are "true heroes" because they're standing up for such a loser?

    October 31, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Patty in the CA mountains

    There have already been as many tries from the McCain campaign as there have been days in October....isn't it a shame that in the United States of America this is the example of a "Fair" and "Honest" election we show the rest of the world.....that a day or two before the election one side or the other drops a scandal bomb to win.....pathetic.

    October 31, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. marie

    McCain Lies and Negativity at this point = Major Backlash

    October 31, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Ty, Cincinnati

    I am very curious as to why there hasn't been more mention of the McCain/G. Gordon Liddy, Keating Five and Palin/AIP connections.

    October 31, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Mary from MN

    I think the October surprise may have just happened. See CNN posting "Missile Strikes Kill 28 in Pakistan." WHY is the U.S. making all these aggressive, pre-emptive moves at this particular time (last week in Syria, now in Pakistan)?!? Are the Repubs TRYING to get us into another military conflict just before the election? Didn't they say that this would be the only way he could win the election? What the H*@% is going on here?!? I would put NOTHING past the Repubs, with their "win at all costs" philosophy, even if it costs innocent civilian lives (yes, CIVILIANS were killed) and the possibility of being retaliated against. PLEASE, America, PLEASE vote to get (and keep) these warmongering thugs out of office! Please vote Obama/Biden!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. aliou FL

    Wonders shall never end. Fear mongering still works here. Cnn resurecting 9/11 to spook voters on last leg of election. Nice try.

    October 31, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. sethC

    i'll be VERY surprised of CNN posts this, but here goes...

    how many "average american voters" speak and comprehend arabic, let alone this who believe everything faux news tells them?

    who realy knows what was really said on the aforementioned video, when it was actually created, who released it, and why?

    the bush/cheney "administration" has been caught in lie after lie after lie. why is this any different? why should ANYONE have believed what was in the video, and how it related to the election of 2004?

    we only know what they've told us.

    if there is to be a "game changer" in the waning days before the election, we all know for whom it would benefit.

    scare the populace!

    terror alert level 5!
    code red! code red!!

    shut down the airports!!

    mc cain and his trusty dog palin will save you!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    a landslide for obama-biden would be nice!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. jim

    What a stupid article CNN..

    October 31, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Sue T

    No question in my mind that Obama WILL be a great President on every issue that concerns americans..........If Osama Bin Ladin came out and made any more threats........Obama will be able to handle it.......with Colon Powell and other great Military Generals on his side will give him the advise he needs to help him make the dissisions that will be the best for this country........McCain at 72 will make all his moves on his own just like Bush and get us into more trouble over in the Middle East than we all ready are........

    October 31, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14