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. Mike Dallas

    Palin, our very own domestic terrorist, is more horrific and terrifying than any bin Laden tape.

    October 31, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. onelove

    October surprise?

    If John McCain loses this race he did it to himself.

    This man has been all over the map. He didn't have a theme, he always says, "I'm going to lower taxes" but her NEVER says how. His health care plan is a joke. I visited McCains website early on and believe me if you aren't rich you are not going to prosper under a McCain rule.

    Is going to run the white house like he's run this race?

    October 31, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Matt

    NOVEMBER SUPRISE: Justice Dept accused of widespread voter suppression on election day. Don't forget who runs the executive branch.

    October 31, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. nomcsame

    the only surprise is mcbush's concession speech on election night...he probably is going to still be talking about palling w/ terrorists

    October 31, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. KathyA

    I think that what Obama wants to do for foreclosure owners is a great thing. If I was behind in my mortgage and needed a 90 day break, I would be glad I had that opportunity. It would only be the greed of some of us that would take advantage of that opportunity and not necessarily need it. Which is why we as Americans have to get back to an honorable society, one that does not take advantage and help each other. Does this make any sense? A lot of family values have gone out the window.

    These opportunities are put out there to help the poor and unfortunate!


    October 31, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Tenisha

    Even if Osama did resurface, Barack has strong foreign policy advisors to tackle that and not send us into a fourth war. Thanks Joe Biden and Rep. Hagel!!!!! Obama-Biden08

    October 31, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Stone Harry

    The surprise this year is Joe The Plumber! Barak let slip his true intentions to the nation and that clogged Obama's sink and it's overflowing onto the floor and now he's slipping and sliding and stumbling to get to the door.

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. vw


    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Jeff

    Here's the October surprise...that this election is still close...WAKE UP AMERICA AND VOTE OBAMA/ BIDEN '08 !!!


    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Holly

    Yeah and we all know those bin Laden tapes are sooooo real. *rolls eyes* Omg... wouldn't it be TOO convenient for "bin Laden" to weigh in at the last minute?? Hahaha... I really hope more people are wising up about this garbage... (I'm pointing at you too, CNN).

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. GCG - Austin, TX

    Actually, an Osama Bin Laden tape might HELP Obama. He's been stating all along that we took our eye off the ball (and Osama) by getting involved in Iraq. Having Osama flex his muscles now would help drive the point home that America has been involved heavily with a country that didn't attack us and have not been able to deal with the actual threat to our sovereignty due to the horrible distractions from Iraq. If we hadn't been involved in a war that McSame got us into, then Osama would be a non-person by now.

    October 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Obama is not a socialist

    to all undecided voters or those even leaning to McCain:

    Please, inform yourself! Read "THE MAKE-BELIEVE MAVERICK" from the ROLLING STONE magazin. It will open your eyes on who this man really is! As a foreigner, who cannot vote in your election, it scares me a lot that such a man could even get that close to the power.

    Please vote smart! The world is looking at you! And McCain/Palin are really dangerous to your country and to the world!

    October 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Arod

    Jeremiah Wright as Sec of State? Think about it? Why don't you START thinking for a change? Although in all honesty, Palin as VP is even scarier.

    Release your health records, Sarah!! Why is she not releasing them and what is she hiding?

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Nina DePonca

    There are some Americans that would let some last minute "event" shape their vote. I don't think very highly of these Americans.

    One candidate is head-n-shoulders above the other and no October surprise should change that.

    I'll be Voting for "THAT ONE"!

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Bitter in Texas

    The big suprise will be on November 5th when Liddy Dole has to eat her Godless ad....can't wait to see that. Go NC it's time ya'all turn that state BLUE.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. turn az blue

    reagan... how can that be true? Isn't BUSH the president? She must make a ton of money that's why she pays NOTHING... there are some freaking ignorant people in this forum

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Republican for Obama

    Does everyone remember the mess that W's daddy left for President Clinton? Funny how he committed troops to Somolia in December after he lost his re-election bid. Seems this is the only stratedy that Bush 2 is taking from the Bush 1 paybook

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. beevee

    Anything is possible in election especially if the republicans are losing it. The Obama people should be on the alert that some unthinkable thing can me manufactured that can be costly for them.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Joe Democrat

    October Surprises only work if the race is close. This race..is NOT close.


    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    Fear, hate and lies – yep sounds like the Rupublian Party. Is that the best they can do. What a bunch of pathetic LOSERS!

    I'd rather be a Socialist than a Nazi. The end of the Fourth Reich draws near. It's time to unite this country – not divide.

    Four more days and GOODBYE GOP!

    OBAMA/BIDEN ROCK IN '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Mickey, NY

    Only if it's in the form of another "false flag" operation like 9/11

    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. TheTruthHurts

    Look. All the stops will be pulled out. Count on it. Including ON and possibly AFTER election day. Power does not concede without a fight. Frankly, we have a rather calm democracy compared to some countries. I just don't want to see insurrection on election day.

    Osama can webcast for all I care. Scare tactics will not work if the American populace were informed and resolute. That is a test of us, not the candidates.

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. bill pike

    mcshame and company needs to put on their McCarthy outfits to show that public why congressman lewis said what he did-at least this time we would be able to see the senator in action.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Vote Early

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

    ,,,,,,,,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 & Gleen Beck)

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. shahid

    Even if bin Laden were to come out with a statement, I think there is simply too much concern about the economy and other Obama strengths....

    What strengths? All he has so far is this message, "CHANGE...HOPE..." Everyone has it since the birth of mankind. What changes or hopes that Obama had that benefited the MAJORITY of Americans in his years of public service. Name just one. I challenge you.

    Someone mentioned that his greatest accomplishment so far has been the ability to get people out to vote. But the majority of the additional voters had been much less involved in politics and less experienced...

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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