October Surprise

Atrios is wondering what it’s going to be. One thing to remember is that the original October Surprise happened behind the scenes, and, like dark matter, could only be deduced by a lack, rather than a presence. As it is alleged, certain Republicans, including the current President’s father, made contact with Iran and cut a deal so that the hostages would not be released until after the election. (They were released on the day of Reagan’s inauguration, shortly after his acceptance speech — and I distinctly remember thinking, at that moment, that the fix had been in.)

Today, the phrase October Surprise has come to mean something which is sprung upon the public in the waning days of the campaign — the surprise capture of Osama, a last minute presidential visit to Baghdad, that sort of thing. But — to quote Saint-Exupery completely out of context — sometimes the thing that is important is the thing that is not seen. An October Surprise could have just as much to do with what they try to keep from us as what they try to shove in our faces.

(Minor revision.)