The Campaign Spot

October Surprise!

Obi-Wan, back on September 2:

This fall they will know no checks — October Surprises, maybe every day and all day. What this means, I don’t know — bombing Iran? Capturing Osama bin Laden or some other big name and announcing the news two days before the election? Get tough with Paris Hilton and send her to Guantanamo?

[I am fairly certain my mentor is exaggerating. Having said that, I hope Paris pays her lawyers well.]

Q: What can the GOP do?

First, predict it. Just tell the people that the White House and Democrats will try and control the media dynamic and narrative. This is what they do. They don’t really know how to govern for the public good; if they could do that, they would be in better shape. What they do know to do is use media events to hold onto power, to go on television and blab.

Second, Republicans ought to be using the words “October Surprise” endlessly. Hold a contest to see who comes up with the most creative suggestion for what the Dems might do.

The month changes, and suddenly . . .

October surprise! Gloria Allred pops up with Meg Whitman’s former housekeeper telling a tale of woe, claiming abuse during a nine-year-working relationship, and claiming Whitman knew she was illegal all along.

October surprise! A sexual-harassment lawsuit is filed against Tom Ganley in one of Ohio’s House races.

October surprise! David Vitter’s opponent puts up an ad hitting him on the prostitution scandal.

October surprise! CQ notices World Wrestling Entertainment had lobbyists when Linda McMahon was running it, contradicting a statement McMahon made last April.


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