August 1, 2016 |
Thus far, the presidential campaign has been a summer beach read of the kind you'd see generated from the pen of Lisa Scottoline, Nicholas Sparks, or Jennifer Weiner. It's had conflict, dishonesty, backstabbing, fashion, and, while thus far lacking a sexual theme, did have a debate over the size of a candidate's manhood. But now we're about to change genres into spycraft and political espionage of the type we'd expect from Nelson DeMille, Tom Clancy, or Ken Follett. Ever since Henry Kissinger said "peace is at hand" in the waning days of the 1972 election, virtually every presidential campaign has raised the prospect of another October surprise.
November 1, 2012
BECAUSE WE LIVE in an age of information over-glut, causing too many Americans to live only in the moment, it's reasonable to ask if "Superstorm Sandy" decides next week's election. Clearly, it will have an impact. It could be the ultimate October surprise. I'm not talking about obvious stuff, such as canceled campaign events, unseen TV ads, fewer robo-calls, less door-to-door canvassing or even suspended early voting in the District of Columbia and Maryland. I'm talking about the real and potentially important psychological effect across a broad swath of the eastern United States.
October 29, 2008 |
To weather experts, the most surprising aspect of the potent wintry storm that has interrupted the summer game's World Series is that something similar hasn't happened more often. By scheduling World Series games for the end of October, they say, Major League Baseball officials have been playing roulette with nature. This time, they lost. "They're willing to take that risk," said Art DeGaetano, the director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center in Ithaca, N.Y., "and it bites them.
November 3, 2006 |
Sales at major U.S. retailers rose in October by the least in four months, the chains reported yesterday, as consumers held off on spending before the holiday season. Sales at 57 chains surveyed by the International Council of Shopping Centers rose 3 percent last month from a year earlier, the slowest growth since June. "The consumer took a break here in October after going hog wild in September," said Ken Perkins, an analyst with Retail Metrics L.L.C. in Swampscott, Mass.
November 3, 2006 |
Well, Sen. John Kerry certainly did his best to offer an October surprise for Republicans. On Monday, Kerry was in California, stumping for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides. At an event at Pasadena City College intended to highlight Democratic education policies, Kerry told students, "You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. " He added, "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
June 22, 2005
BILL CONLIN fails to balance his June 21 proclamation with the obvious point that Ryan Howard is a very much-needed insurance policy. In the event that Jim Thome can't perform for the remainder of the season, the Phils would need to rely on two utility infielders, both of whom lack the power to fill this void. The needs of a team playing in a pennant race are much more important than the desires of a player or columnist. And just maybe by keeping "Howard Hostage," as he says, the Fightin's might possibly have their own "October Surprise" this fall.
October 21, 2004
NEW YORK attorney general and self-styled monitor of the nation's financial industry Elliot Spitzer has launched another major investigation just two weeks before the election, driving down stock market averages. Meanwhile, oil prices have topped $50 a barrel, some say driven upward by speculators. John Kerry's multibillionaire backers have long experience in benefiting from changes in commodity prices. Rising oil prices and declining stock averages, of course, work to the advantage of the challenger in a close presidential campaign.
October 20, 2004 |
An October surprise might take place in Iraq that could affect the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. There could even be two October surprises. But, in this polarized political season, it's not clear which candidate would be helped or hurt. Iraqi officials are predicting that insurgents may try to influence the U.S. vote by doing something particularly violent just before Nov. 2. "There could be an October surprise - a big bang in Baghdad," I was told from Baghdad by Zuhair Humadi, the secretary-general of the Iraqi cabinet.
September 12, 1994 |
Down in the polls and under heavy criticism from members of his own party, President Clinton appears ready to launch an "October Surprise" invasion of Haiti, perhaps hoping it will repair his damaged political fortunes. Who is for this invasion? Not public opinion. Haiti is no threat to America or to its policies anywhere in the world. Not Democratic leaders. The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Lee Hamilton of Indiana, told CNN he believes most members of Congress are "highly skeptical" about sending U.S. troops to Haiti.
October 18, 1992 |
Who says George Bush has no domestic program? Whatever else happened in this campaign, no one will be able to say that again. James A. Baker 3d is Bush's domestic program, his new October surprise. The President made that unmistakably clear last Sunday in the first debate. Baker will fill in the details, starting this week, supplying the vision thing on the home front as he did on the international front. Before, he was Bush's foreign policy program, but no more. Now, the President tells us, "What I'm going to do is say to Jim Baker when this campaign is over, 'All right.