The idea of an October surprise in Presidential politics started with the election of 1988, when Democrats accused George H. W. Bush of having flown to Iran before the 1980 election to make a special deal with the Iranians not to release the hostages until Ronald Reagan was safely elected President. Of course, the story was proven to be a complete fabrication by the Democrats. Other October surprises did have some basis in truth, illustrated by the revelation a few days before the 2000 election that years prior, George W. Bush had been charged with a DUI. The whole idea of an October surprise, some revelation that has an important impact on the outcome of a Presidential election, is really more myth than reality. Usually practiced by Democrats, October surprises have rarely had an impact on elections, but there is still an unexplainable mystique about them.
Some have suggested that the October surprise assigned to this year's Presidential election is hurricane Sandy, more to the point, President Obama's response to hurricane Sandy. Let's examine the President's actions closely. He flew to and over some storm devastated areas, mainly in New Jersey, and promised quick government aid. He received the slobbering endorsement of Republican Governor, Chriss Christie, who is trying to ensure his own re-election next year in a predominantly Democrat state. The dog-looking-for-a-bone response of a Governor from a state in turmoil aside, the President did nothing that wasn't commensurate with his job description. And yet, the expectations for this President have been lowered so much, that even doing his job for a couple of days earns him high praise. There are even those deluded few, on both sides of the political spectrum, that think his performance was so spectacular that it will sway voters away from Mitt Romney next Tuesday and re-elect the President. That would not only be a surprise, but a miracle. Considering that his storm performance has done nothing to bring down chronically high unemployment, increase the slowest GDP growth in decades, reduce the ever-expanding food stamp roles, reverse the growing number of people in poverty and reduce the historically high debt and deficit that threatens to make the country insolvent.
Another aspect of the President's storm-related political pandering is his promise to speed up the process by which government operates in order to get aid to stricken areas as quickly as possible. My question is, "Why can't government always work that way?" Why not have a government that is streamline and employs efficacy in everything it does, as Mitt Romney has suggested and Barrack Obama has criticized throughout this campaign. It seems to me that the real October surprise is that when things really need to get accomplished, President Obama has endorsed Mitt Romney's government model. So why would the American people elect a part-time practitioner of better government when they can have as President the man who designed it and would employ it on a full-time basis?
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