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. Dave

    Nothing could sway my vote to McCain now. Not with Palin on his ticket, and not after the behavior I've seen from McCain. I can't trust that guy anymore. He doesn't seem capable or competent, he doesn't have the temperment, and he has no convictions. He's done a 180 from where he was in 2000, and I just can't trust a guy like that.

    For the first time in a while, I am voting FOR somebody. I like Obama. But even if something happened to change that liking, I also have a huge vote AGAINST McCain. That wasn't always there; McCain has turned me to that stance in the past 6 months of campaigning. All in all, I've never seen an election where I was less conflicted about my choice. Obama, all the way.

    October 31, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Christopher

    I think that if voters payed close attention they would know that Bin Laden like Sadam Hussein (and the Taliban) were both funded by guess who??? There is no wonder that 2 of the three have NOT been found. I sincerly dont put if past Bush and the Republicans to create an October Suprise... No one has yet prooven that they didnt create 9-11 ... The nerver of Gulliani to actually use such as a platfor to run for President...geesh! What a looser.

    October 31, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    The way the McCain campaign has gone, it has divided this country, just like Bin Laden wants. Hey, all you Republican Right Wing nut jobs, keep up the good work and really screw this country up. Ya think those 2 neo-nazis were liberals? Hardly...just listen to what comes out of Palin's campaign speeches.

    October 31, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Lisa for Obama/Biden

    Vote HOPE not HATE !!

    Vote Obama/Biden 08 !!

    October 31, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Jill American

    The elder Bush and the Bin Ladin family were going to have lunch together on 9/11 ... while their sons were waging war.

    October 31, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. dd

    Osama bin Laden is dead. He died at Tora Bora. The tape in 2004 was edited from a bunch of old tapes...but it was enough to "scare" the American public like a bunch of sheep.

    Stop being afraid. The Republicans have only made the world less safe for you and people in other nations by raising an entire generation of disenfranchised Muslim youth.

    An attack of any sort in the next four to eight years will be the responsibility of the incompetent policies of the Bush Admin.

    Get out on Nov 4th and vote!!! Don't let fear of the "boogy man" dictate your choices. Don't let the polls make you complacent. Make history!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. robin

    Obama is not ever going to be ready to defend America . He doesnt think Mrxist are so very bad . His Black Liberation Theology advocates it . That America doesnt turn from his politics is my October surprise ! But maybe worse is on its way

    October 31, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. MOSES

    Let's see, maybe AMERICA will finally get how horrific the deeds of ACORN really were?

    NOBAMA

    October 31, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Joan

    My "November surprise" will be to vote against all incumbents, whether Democrat or Republican. I'm tired of hearing each side blame the other for the mess America is in! Both sides are to blame because they sat in Congress and did nothing! There's no excuse for what has happened...either they were idiots and had blinders on, or they saw what was coming and did nothing! In either case, they ALL need to be booted out of office!

    October 31, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Poole4Obama

    I agree with the majority. The country was in a different position 4 years ago. Bush had more popularity, more Americans agreed with the war. We were stronger economically, and it's been proven that the last 8 years have been a growing disaster. It's time for change.

    A tape will not help John now.

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 31, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. swedishkiss

    I think the Republican leadership would rather have 4 years of an Obama presidency to re-establish their brand then to have another failed Republican president as McCain would surely be.

    They will use the next 4 years to tear Obama apart (unless he gets a Democratic filibuster proof senate and house).

    Rush Limbaugh/Bill O'Reilly et al, will make even more money with a Democat leading the country. I hope that Barack Obama has learned from the Clintons, Al Gore and John Kerry. Don't let those talking heads spread lies without fear of retaliation. Go after them and marginalize them so they become impotent. Much like the Drudge Report is soon to be.

    October 31, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. YVONNE

    yeah it is. Stevens is going to tell all the dirt that he has on Palin since they are politically tied to the same state!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Did you know that the law Palin pushed in Alaska about the "killing of the wolves" goes something like this.....you can't actually "kill" the wolves from the air, only wound them, and then let them just run until they can't run anymore and finally go down....then you can land and finish the job.....That's very inhumane.....and definitly not being a "sportsman."

    October 31, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. surprise

    Watchout the crocodile cries from McCain...it worked for Hilary...

    October 31, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Ed from Dallas

    I dont I don’t know why they call it an October surprise.
    It is more of a test of idiocy for the voter.

    Even if Bin Laden would send another tape and change the mood of the elections, it would be a verdict on how stupid the voter is since it is much obvious from the debates and the campaign that Obama will make us safer than McBush.

    October 31, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. rosy obama mama

    Ladies and Gentleman. Do not give the White House to Mccain/Palin. Mccain is very old and to let that woman occupied the highest position in this country will be a big mistake. These are serious issues and she is not ready for this. Please for the good of this country and for our security vote Obama/Biden.

    October 31, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE, VOTE A STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET!

    Now that you mention it CNN, there is a resemblance between Rick Davis and bin Laden, just a bit of makeup, turban and beard....

    October 31, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. nerakami

    Memo to all News media pundits and so call political "experts"...

    The American people are not cowering in some dark corner waiting for the worse to happen... been there done that... by the way, Bin Laden is STILL ALIVE !!! even after the Republicans scare tactics and hollow echoes of bravado and machismo...

    This is a new day, this is a new time... if needs be, the American people are psyched and prepared to go find Bin Laden ourselves... that's how we feel about that !

    October 31, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Obama-Junkie, IL

    I sense an anti-Bradley effect come Nov. 4th. Many more independents and moderate Republicans will end up voting for Obama than expected. For McCain to be only 6pts ahead of Obama in his home state of Arizona at this point speaks volumes!

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. RealityKing

    The only surprise this year is the lengths at which the corrupt media is going to suppress information that the public has a right to know. Obviouosly columnists now give their biased opinions where objective observers once reported news...

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Doug in New Mexico

    You may be an Obama supporter but if you don't get out the vote he will lose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Lyndon,CA

    Anythings possible, it's a crazy world that we live in.

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. mitch

    with 30% early voting? lmao! nothing sticks to barack! his supporters believe in him ,too much.

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Decided

    I Refuse to allow fear to dictate my Vote. Period. End of Discussion. No subject to negotiation. Even if Bin Laden showed up in person at the White House....the Bush/McLame/Pagan crew still won't be able to find him. So There!!!
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. BOOTSTOMPER

    Prop up McCain in somebody's front yard for a scary halloween decoration.

    October 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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