In the last couple decades the saying "October Surprise" has entered our lexicon to signify information made public just prior to an election to hurt your opponent. Democrats have saved negative information to be released strategically to depress Republican voter turnout. In the past these have included politically motivated indictments (Cap Weinberger), leaking a decades old police reports (Bush's DUI) and this year waiting to report a misbehaving congressman until close to an election (Foley) for maximum affect. Projecting their own low ethical standards, Democrats have anticipated Republicans operating in a similar manner and have accused them of holding up releasing various information for strategic purposes. In recent election years Dems accused Republicans of everything from getting bin Laden to send a tape to al Jazerra before the election to claiming we had already captured bin Laden and were going to announce it right before the election. In the past I laughed off these conspiracy theories as nutty ravings, especially the ones that described Karl Rove as an evil genius. Now, I have to reassess my opinion. Maybe Rove is actually a genius. How else can you explain getting Sen. John Kerry (E-MA) to make disparaging comments about our service members eight days before an election. Democrats were perceived to have a chance to regain control of the House of Representatives. Their chances were largely based on an expectation of low GOP voter turnout. Kerry needlessly reminded regular folks why they don't like him. He looks down on us commoners. The only thing I haven't figured out is how did Rove get Kerry to make that comment?
HUMOROUS UPDATE: Minutes after posting the above entry about October surprises, I stumbled across the news that a perpetrator of a past October surprise was arrested yesterday.
The lawyer who divulged President Bush’s drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election was arrested at gunpoint Tuesday after he was seen on a highway construction site carrying a toy gun while dressed in an Osama bin Laden costume. Tom Connolly, 49, of Scarborough, was charged with criminal threatening after he stood at the site visible to commuters on Interstate 295 while wearing the Halloween costume and waving a sign. Police officers responding to motorists’ calls found a man wearing a white robe and carrying a fake assault rifle.Before you dismiss this guy as a fringe character keep in mind that he was the Democrat nominee for governor in 1998.
(H/T Don Surber)