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No October Surprise / No Sympathy Vote

Was it there and not accentuated?

by Richard Mr. Moo Moore
November 3, 2008

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No October Surprise / No Sympathy Vote

Over the last month, I had an opportunity to speak to a number of people about this election. One thing that I have said for months in conversations at conventions to coffee shops to classrooms was, "watch out for the October surprise". 

It didn't happen. Or did it?

I looked back with the help of a number of high school students today and figured that there may have been a couple of surprises or at least potential explosions at the end of the campaign.

The first potential explosion was the issue of gas prices. When Bush took office in 2000, gasoline was about $1.70 a gallon. Here in the Midwest, gasoline is now about $1.85 a gallon. A surprise, yes. But maybe not the punch we have come to expect.

The Republicans have missed a huge opportunity to address this issue and spin the reduction of gas prices to their favor. They could have used the success of the surge in Iraq as part of the reason. They could have used the leadership of the president and the bailout with the idea that the GOP was getting tough on companies and a threat of a corporate takeover. They could have used the talk of the off-shore drilling to bring down the price of imported oil.

Now, none of these things seem to be the real reason. But in politics, what is important is perception but reality.

The second possible opportunity to jump start the campaign with an explosion was the war in Iraq. Using the surge as a plus, the Bush administration could have announced a major reduction in troops, many to be home by Christmas or Inauguration Day. The announcement of a troop reduction in Vietnam served the Humphrey campaign well in 1968, almost swaying enough voters to stay with the party in power.

But W. didn't help McCain that way, either.

Either of these issues could have been used by the McCain campaign in order to jump start his campaign. But they didn't. They missed opportunities to turn this around. And they may regret it.

The only thing that could help Obama in the last day or so is something that the 2004 Democratic ticket didn't use. The sympathy vote.

You see, Americans are suckers and want to FEEL better about most everything they do.

In 2004, word was that VP nominee John Edwards and his wife had received the news about Elisabeth's breast cancer. They found out about the cancer on Thursday or Friday before Election Day. By announcing the health issues of Elizabeth over the weekend, some may have changed their vote because of the thinking, "let's vote for Elizabeth's husband so she can see his dream of the White House come true." It would have worked better if Edwards was on the top of the ticket. But they chose to keep the issue quiet and the Kerry / Edwards ticket lost.

Emotionally, Obama's campaign could benefit from the release of the news of the death of the candidate's grandmother. Now, before you get all upset at me, remember we want to feel good about what we do. It's not that Obama needs a sympathy vote but he could benefit a little from that among the undecided.

So no surprise. And no sympathy vote.
You mean we have to choose based on the issues?

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Elm from USA writes:
November 4, 2008

I also was thinking along your "sympathy" train of thought yesterday. By now, I surmise the dye is cast. Prediction is that Barack Obama will be elected in spite of the efforts of the all-too-well-known thrashers.

Elections are all about swaying the masses. Adolf Hitler was a good thrasher, thrashed the Jews to rise to power.

Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote. "First they came for the communists but I was not a communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists and the trade unions, but I was neither, so I didn't speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I didn't speak out. When they came for me, there was no one to speak out for me."

Well, there are some who have certainly came for Barack Obama, calling him everything under the sun but a white man even though he is half WHITE.

In a wicked un-christian like manner, the Moral Majority have unmercifully came after Barack Obama, going as far with their abberations as to calling him an Arab, Muslin, Socialist,Terrorist and Un-american in order to frighten voters and sway an election to the far right for politicial power and personal gain. Trying to divide by hate and fear!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone who thinks mixing church and state is a plus is ANTI our democracy and ANTI our constitution! Mixing religion with politics is a curse and kiss of death to our democracy. Hence, this phrase was coined,"never discuss religion and politics". Unless, you like to fight.

Ability to do a job is not based on unbecoming & wicked steroptyping.

Barack Obama is an AMERICAN. Beinfg an American is the number one requirement to become a U.S. Senator; something NOT for voters to decide. Barack Obama is a practicing CHRISTIAN; between Obama and God, something NOT for voters to decide.


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