… In all of history there have been, counting generously, two successful “October Surprises,” and I’m sure political scientists and historians would be happy to argue with one another over how “successful” they were at actually having a decisive impact on election results. And these surprises were actually secret attempts to circumvent or sabotage potential surprises from the other side. And details of these surprises weren’t actually known until after the election. I’m referring to the Nixon campaign (led by Henry Kissinger) convincing the South Vietnamese to withdraw from peace talks until after the 1968 election, in order to prevent Johnson from announcing an end to the war, and whatever exactly happened to make it so that Carter couldn’t negotiate for the release of the American hostages in Iran until after he lost the election. (The hostages were then released as Reagan was being inaugurated. Then later we sold Iran a bunch of weapons.) This is what everyone dreams of when they imagine October Surprises — secret clandestine overseas meetings involving CIA spooks! — but these were such extraordinary circumstances that it’s hard to imagine how they could possibly happen again. (Plus: They’re both technically thwarted October Surprises.)
The equivalent today would be Romney sabotaging (or Iran intentionally delaying action on) Obama’s negotiations with Iran regarding their nuclear ambitions, but that would not actually decide the election, sorry. (Also Romney is not competent enough to pull that off and it’s not really in Iran’s interest to side with Romney over Obama.) Or maybe North Korea nukes Japan or something, but once we get into events entirely outside the control of either campaign, we’re again just talking about “news,” and not “surprise,” which implies that people representing one of the campaigns are in some sense responsible for it…
What wins elections is not media stunting by attention whores, it’s hard work. Us Democrats have a more demanding battle than the opposition, because we don’t expand our paramaters for ‘hard work’ to include ‘borderline, if not actual, treason’. Fortunately, unlike Willard Mitt Romney, we’re used to working hard!
So… apart from working hard to GOTV, and keeping a sharp eye on the fReichtards/Talibangelicals/Robber Barons GOP triumvirate, what’s on the agenda for the start of the weekend?