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."

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soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. People make no sense

    They already have spoken. CNN wouldn't report it but a terrorist network said tehy wanted McCain to win because he would follow the same self destructive policies as Bush. Folks, the terrorist goals are to bring down our economic structure. We are losing the war, just like Russia when we supported Bin Laden against them. History is repeating itself.

    October 31, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. People make no sense

    They already have spoken. CNN wouldn't report it but a terrorist network said they wanted McCain to win because he would follow the same self destructive policies as Bush. Folks, the terrorist goals are to bring down our economic structure. We are losing the war, just like Russia when we supported Bin Laden against them. History is repeating itself.

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

    No October surprise, just a Nov 4th surprise, McCain/Palin will win, plain and simple.

    Here in FL (like all states) dont trust the polls, he will win FL by 4-5 points or more!

    I know Libs have the worst memories, but go back and google polls the week before vote in 2004, I recall Kerry being in same positon!

    Libs are lazy, they wont change this year and vote, they will see long lines and head to liquor store to spend some food stamps, and take in a little Oprah marathon session on cable!

    October 31, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. gregory james

    yep your right they will do any thing to win pigs pigs !!!

    October 31, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. 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 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. 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 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. People make no sense

    They already have spoken. CNN wouldn't report it but a terrorist network said they wanted McCain to win because he would follow the same self destructive policies as Bush. Folks, the terrorist goals are to bring down our economic structure. We are losing the war, just like Russia when we supported Bin Laden against them. History is repeating itself.

    October 31, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Carl

    Reader, please be aware that 90% of the comments posted to stories on CNN are actually made by paid members of the Obama campaign.

    October 31, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. ines

    McCain Negativity = Major Voter Backlash

    -Former Republican for Obama

    October 31, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. bruce

    Any external thing that would happen now in the clsoing days needs to be investigagted,,,as I would sumise that if it happened it owuld be caused by Bush, or backed by his adminsitration....watch out...I do not trsut any of these repubs...

    October 31, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    @ Nick, Houston: Correct you are!

    The October Surprise was Sarah Palin's guilt of abuse of power.

    It was the so-called-Joe-the-plumber who was neither a plumber NOR buying a small business.

    The October Surprise was the FACT that Todd Palin was a member of the Alaska Independent Party a SECESSIONIST GROUP from 1994-2002.
    Of course no one in the media covered this BUT Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.

    Another October Surprise was the $150,000 spent on clothes, hair and makeup for Palin!

    And another October Surprise was: that MCCAIN & THE INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE GAVE THE "PLO LEADER" KHADILI (SP.?) ...........$450,000 IN 1998 AND MORE IN 1993! But there was Palin at her rallies linking Sen. Obama to another terrorist while it WAS MCCAIN who had ties with him....$450,000 dollar worth! What hypocrites!

    How funny that McCain had all this and more happening to his campaign but the media did not cover it!

    October 31, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. truth

    republicans fooled the people for the last time, they can blame bush for this lose

    October 31, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Joe Regis

    Oct. is gone and the consensus is maintained that the people are fed up with the repubs and are voting for a change in a new direction.

    No more repubs this year, they are doomed.

    Landslide Obama/Biden 08/12.

    October 31, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Coline

    thats not going to happen this time. Barack and Joe are going to win because we the people are putting Barack and Joe in the white house!

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    October 31, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Independent In NY

    I'll be surprised if McCain doesn't croak before the election, that would be a surprise!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Riaz

    YES... surprise will come.. the fact that GOP is confident means either they don't want to tell their base that they are going to lose; no one will do so OR they have something and will play over the weekend... That surprise will be nothing to do with Economy/Jobs/Foreclosures or Helathcare or Education !!! FEAR .. plant fear in people.. act as if GOP is the savior... then continue four more years of disaster!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Well..

    @Ken in Dallas –

    Good call – you hit it exactly on the head...there will be some sort of international crisis in the next few days because the RNC can't see past their own pockets...they do not care for or value the lives of the people in our military – they, like so many others, are just the means to an end for them..."Country First" is the biggest crock I've ever heard coming from the Republican Party...

    October 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Agnes Fleming

    That is precisely what I felt was the reason Kerry did not win in 2004, along with the fear mongering tactics of the Bush/Rove team. Aside from that, however, Kerry did not pick up the many gauntlets thrown at him soon enough, nor did he have the steel in his spine I perceive in Obama. That does not mean to say that I am taking anything for granted on 11/4, the McCain/Rove team could still pul a rabbit out of the hat.

    October 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. sabuc for Obama

    The October surprise is that McCain is still alive and kicking.

    October 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Supa c

    Hey, people lets make history and get this country back rolling again i am broke your broke com on ( obama ).

    October 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Chris

    I think we all know what the intended "October Surprise" was supposed to be from the McCain-Palin campaign, but i believe that the Khalidi allegations kinda backfired for the GOP ticket.

    Next time maybe you should research a little better to see if maybe you may of had any involvement with this "extremist" before you go around pointing the finger. Glad to see it backfired and its a little to close to the election to pull something else out of a hat.

    Obama-Biden 08

    October 31, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Mary

    No weapons formed against us shall prosper!!!!!!!

    Any man who digs a hole should be careful lest he digs his own grave...

    October 31, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Yep! John McCain will announce another VP choice on election eve.

    October 31, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. jimmy bob

    This time Bush will not dare pull a Rovian move to win it for McCain. It would never work on the American voter and backfire into getting the voters to sway towards the dems. Enough is enough!!

    American voter not gullible!

    October 31, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. The Voice

    It won't work this time around! Americans are ready for a new direction.
    McPalin has nothing to offer but four more years of Bush policies.

    Democrats in 08!

    October 31, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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