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

Does an 'October surprise' still lurk?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/31/october.surprise/art.kerryreax.ap.jpg caption="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. lilacs

    Remember everyone that it was the republicans that were in power when 9/11 happened. Dont be fooled by their scare tactics of being attacked again. It all BS that they are the only ones that keep us safe. They did nothing to stop 9/11 and they were warned and choose to to ignore the warnings. Dont get fooled again. Obama/Bidden nov 4th

    October 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. tee

    People show their stupidity and ignorance when they use racial and thoughtless things. The Republican party has taken this country back 40 years. Human and civil rights are at stake in this election. This country was built on terrorizing those that are different. Republicans talk about terror attacks and all they do is provoke domestic terror.

    October 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. KJL

    Interestingly, even with his military experience McCain is less likely to be effective against a terrorist threat than Obama. McCain has a "Boom Boom" mentality, and would further rile up a bunch of already unstable enemies, as well as their sympathizers. Obama is disciplined, tough, and would try to avoid further damage, but would protect us as needed.

    October 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Joe the teacher

    Ted, the idea that Wright would be involved in the Obama administration is silly – another scare tactic.

    Obama has rejected and repudiated Wright. End of story.

    I feel like the Mccain campaign had an ace, they'd have played it by now. I mean, who knows – they are grasping so wildly they may make up something in the next few days that will stick. Another one of their desperate insinuations. (Socialism? Give me a BREAK! Graduated Income tax, Social Security, Earned Income Credit, and Alaskan Oil Dividend are ALL redistributive fiscal programs – NO ONE, including McCain himself actually believes Obama to be a socialist. McCain admitted as much on Larry King. So the only reason to float the word out there is to create fear. Imaginary fear)

    McCain has thrown so many petty stones, I find it hard to believe he's got a boulder saved up. . .But I'm not counting any chickens. . . McCain's willingness to use smear & fear, coupled with many Americans' ability to be swayed bu rumors and unsubstantiated insinuation equals a scary potential for a McCain upset.

    Go VOTE!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. PA Republican for Obama

    Our economy tanking was the October Surprise this year...it just couldn't wait until October.....

    October 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Paul, TX

    McCain is too old to be president!

    I'm a republican, and have great respect for the man, but i do think his age is a valid issue.
    Especially because his running mate Palin terrifies me! If she becomes president the USA would fall apart! And Americas already poor global reputation will be shattered!!

    Imagine Sarah Palin dealing with the Iraq war….. the economic crisis she knows nothing about….. What if USA is attacked again while she is in charge. That is Scary!

    Palin is a risk i'm not willing to make!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Commonwealth of Virginia

    Conservatism is out the window. Tose guys are hell bent on taking over the world. I guess ya'll haven't seen Dubya yet.


    October 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Bill

    Don't worry, bin Laden wants Obama to win. Who could blame him?

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Curt - Atlanta

    The October surprise will be:

    Sarah Palin is really a man or Larry Flynt will release a video of McCain and Bush knocking boots in the Oval Office.

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Bill in Ct.

    I've been saying this for two weeks now, I'm waiting for the ReThugs to make a tape with Osama Bin Laden saying he's going to attack america like they did back in 04 just before the election so the people can be afraid and vote for Killer Bush. For some reason the ReThugs think their the only ones that can protect this country.

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. John

    The republican party will stop at nothing to win a tax break for the wealthiest few. Corruption, dirty tricks, voter suppression, lies, cheating all are in the republican play book.

    We need real change in Washington, we need a clean sweep victory for Barack Obama and the Democratic party.

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Joe the Troll

    If bin Laden came out with a tape AGAIN right before the election, why would anyone be dumb enough to think the Republicans didn't manufacture it?

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Oregon = Proud to be BLUE, proud to be GREEN!!

    If there is a surprise, it will be either

    1. Completely fabricated, or
    2. Another vague, baseless insinuation that uses inflammatory words like "terrorist", "PLO", "radical". . . to create fear. (But race is'n an issue, right?)

    October 31, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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