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Offlineekomstop
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Registered: 03/31/01
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Democrats Fear 'October Surprise'
    #3213786 - 10/04/04 02:54 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/election2004/9821526.htm?1c

Democrats Fear 'October Surprise'

TOM RAUM

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - In the presidential campaign's closing weeks, Democrats are bracing for an "October Surprise," an event so dramatic it could influence the election's outcome. The capture of Osama bin Laden, for instance.

It's part of American political lore: the party out of power worries about a last-minute surprise engineered by the party in power. Now that October has arrived and the election is just a month away, speculation is rife among Democrats that President Bush and political mastermind Karl Rove have some tricks up their sleeves.

"I assume that it will be something," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. "We have to be ready for that."

With the war in Iraq going badly and people concerned about terrorism, there also seems to be a better than usual chance for a significant event beyond either party's control.

Both sides know the possibilities: a major setback in Iraq or Afghanistan, a terrorist strike against the United States, a nuclear test by North Korea, an economic shock.

Three years after Bush said he wanted bin Laden "dead or alive," the capture of the fugitive al-Qaida leader tops nearly everyone's list as a supreme example of the kind of October surprise that could help seal Bush's re-election.

Democrat John Kerry made the failure to track down bin Laden a central part of his criticism of Bush in Thursday's first presidential debate. The Massachusetts senator claimed that Bush lost sight of that goal when he ordered the invasion of Iraq.

Some conspiracy buffs suggest bin Laden already has been captured or perhaps has been trapped by Pakistan in a cave, and will be produced just before the Nov. 2 election.

No matter how far fetched, some Democrats have helped add to the speculation.

"I think it would be outrageous, frankly, but you know, there's those kind of rumors out there," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told ABC.

Even if bin Laden remains elusive, the capture of a major terrorist leader - bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahri or Iraq's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of a militant group that has claimed to have beheaded two American hostages - could provide an October boost for Bush.

But Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University, said the administration risks a backlash.

"Producing a high-level al-Qaida leader would immediately invite suspicion about whether this person has been cooling his heels in a safe house some place," Baker said.

Perhaps the best late campaign season development might not be an actual surprise in Iraq, but a decline in the violence there.

Bush is no stranger to October surprises; his family has been on the receiving end.

The revelation of Bush's drunken-driving arrest as a young man came right before the 2000 election.

The Friday before the 1992 election, former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who served in the Reagan and first Bush administration, was indicted in the Democratic-inspired investigation of the Iran-Contra affair. That posed yet another worry for the elder Bush's re-election bid, which failed.

Usually speculated-upon October surprises fail to materialize. There was talk that the Carter administration would produce a deal in 1980 to free the U.S. hostages in Iran. In 1968 and again in 1972 came speculation that a deal to end the war in Vietnam might be at hand.

Yet the Suez Canal crisis in the fall of 1956 contributed to Dwight Eisenhower's re-election landslide, historians suggest.

As Election Day draws nearer, Bush's options for election-influencing actions are dwindling.

With three tax cuts under his belt, there is not enough time for a new stimulus if the economy takes a sudden turn for the worse, perhaps reflected in a bad jobs report on Oct. 8. - the last unemployment report before the election - or in a stock market swoon.

Bush could release more crude oil from the national reserve to combat rising fuel prices. But he accused President Clinton of doing just that to help Democrat Al Gore right before the 2000 election. And Bush already has used some of those reserves to help refiners offset hurricane losses - with little impact on rising fuel prices.

One "Hail Mary" pass could be for Vice President Dick Cheney to leave the ticket - perhaps to be replaced by a popular moderate such as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Republican strategists scoff at such talk. But if Bush starts to fall behind, he and his advisers might want to try harder to reach out to moderates who dislike Cheney intensely. Cheney, who has had four heart attacks, could cite health concerns.

"The notion is that the October surprise is a Halloween trick for politicians. But the strongest possibility this time is something happening that nobody controls," said Princeton political science professor Fred Greenstein.

---

EDITOR'S NOTE - Tom Raum has covered Washington for The Associated Press since 1973, including five presidencies.


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Anonymous

Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: ekomstop]
    #3213904 - 10/04/04 03:18 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

am i reading that right?

some democrats are afraid of a victory in the war on terror, such as the capture of a high-level al-qaeda official or progress in iraq... because it might make bush look good?

:rolleyes:


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: ]
    #3213982 - 10/04/04 03:30 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

No, you're not reading it right. What they're saying is the government is so utterly corrupt and cynical that it will pull someone they arrested months ago out of the hat in October and say "Look, arn't things going great?".


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleAntiMeme
yankee doodledandy
Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 208
Re: 3213982 [Re: Xlea321]
    #3214025 - 10/04/04 03:38 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

According to Fox, that's what all democrats are afraid of.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,133672,00.html


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OfflineDivided_Sky
Ten ThousandThings

Registered: 11/02/03
Posts: 3,171
Loc: The Shining Void
Last seen: 9 years, 1 month
Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: ekomstop]
    #3214041 - 10/04/04 03:41 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I think realistically Republicans have more to worry about in the way of October Surprises because of terrorist attacks and violence in Iraq. The day of the debates the terrorists killed 35 children. Something worse will probobly happen the day before the election. From what I have read Al Qaeda is hopping to score another Madrid, so I would expect for something nasty.


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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Anonymous

Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: Xlea321]
    #3214070 - 10/04/04 03:46 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

i understand the main thrust of the article; i was only making a side observation.


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3214088 - 10/04/04 03:50 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

From what I have read Al Qaeda is hopping to score another Madrid

Al-qaeda will do everything they can to ensure Bush remains in power. Bin Laden has played Bush like a deck of cards.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Anonymous

Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: Xlea321]
    #3214089 - 10/04/04 03:51 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

why?


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Offlinephi1618
old hand

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 4,102
Last seen: 7 years, 2 months
Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: ]
    #3214127 - 10/04/04 04:01 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

There are plenty that believe that the invasion of Iraq, rather than eliminating a stronghold of terrorism, has provided the enemy with thousands of potential recruits (mad Arabs) and brought us close to a Christian-Islam clash of civilizations.

I don't claim to know for certain what bin Laden wants, but a clash of civilizations seems likely to be high on his list.

see this article by Pat Buchanan:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/buchanan/buchanan4.html


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Anonymous

Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: phi1618]
    #3214137 - 10/04/04 04:03 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

john kerry voted for the war and has no plan to remove US troops from iraq any time soon should he be elected.


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Offlinephi1618
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Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 4,102
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Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: ]
    #3214165 - 10/04/04 04:07 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

He voted to authorize the president to go to war if needed - a small but critical difference.

You are right though - there isn't a hairs difference between Kerry and Bush on Iraqs future - hell, I didn't support invading Iraq, but I think it'd be a terrible idea to pull out now - we're stuck.


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Offlineallmakescombined
Boss Man

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 384
Loc: My Office
Last seen: 12 years, 9 months
Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: Xlea321]
    #3214166 - 10/04/04 04:07 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Muslim fundies want Bush to win because they believe he plays an integral part to the end times. They believe that the more evil Bush does to the Muslim world, the more Muslims will be united against the enemy.

They want a clash. The bigger, the harder, the better. It's more difficult to unite moderates and jihadis when the US is ran by an appeasement President like John Kerry.

OBL and crew like Bush because he's as Crusader as one can get without being chastized at home. They like Bush because he's bold and decisive, and he had the nerve to invade an Arab country, a culture that doesn't like to take shit from anyone.

Few people know that Al Qaeda has cut its funding for the insurgency in Afghanistan and puts most of its cash towards the Tawhid and Jihad group (Zarqawi's group). For jihadists, Iraq is viewed as another Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They're prepared to fight for the next decade, like the Afghan war.

Notice how the insurgency in Iraq is made up mostly of local Iraqis - compared to the current, not-so-hot insurgency in Afghanistan which is lead by foreigners, not local Afghans.


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Get back to work.



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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 8 years, 5 months
Re: Democrats Fear 'October Surprise' [Re: phi1618]
    #3214227 - 10/04/04 04:20 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

He voted to authorize the president to go to war if needed - a small but critical difference.




A critical difference that happens to be utterly and incomprehensively unconstitutional. John Kerry should not be elected President -- he should be put on trial for violating the SUPREME law of the land.

"In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not the executive department. . . . The trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man." -James Madison


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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