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What Happened to the October Surprise?

October 20th, 2012 - 3:15 am

Every now and then this past Spring and Summer, someone would bring up the specter of an “October surprise.” There we’d be in the last weeks of the election cycle and bang! out would come some startling revelation about Mitt Romney. Maybe he sacrificed that dog he carried on the roof of his car in some hitherto unknown religious ceremony. Maybe, as was revealed about George Bush early in November 2000, he was caught driving suspiciously slowly after a few too many beers. Who knows?

But as the weeks and months have worn on talk of an October surprise seems to have subsided.

Until today.

By one of those cosmic conjunctions the sage Carl Jung would doubtless make a lot of, I had not one but two encounters with the idea of an October surprise. The first was while chatting with a politically mature friend this morning. I pointed out that Obama’s campaign seemed to be visibly disintegrating by the day. He acknowledged the remarkable sea change in the fortunes of  the campaigns and even allowed that my long-standing prediction that Romney would win (and win big!) might after all turn out to be correct. “But,” he added, “if things look really bad for Obama going into the final week or so, they will think of something to spring.”

Spring what, exactly?

That of course remains to be seen, but it was was just an hour or two later that my friend sent me a link from The Daily Caller, based on a Tweet from the Drudge Report, speculating that Gloria Allred “will soon ‘make a move’ to affect the presidential election.” It was Ms. Allred, recall, who dug up news of Herman Cain’s amatory indiscretion, a revelation that pushed him out of the presidential race last Spring, just as it was Ms. Allred who discovered and publicized the news that Meg Whitman, then running for governor of California, had an illegal immigrant housekeeper in her past. Bye, bye, Meg!

Who knows what sordid stories Gloria Allred has been attempting to conjure? She remained coy. “I have no comment at this time,” she said. “I don’t discuss meetings with potential clients.” Well, well. How… discreet of her. Maybe she’s been re-reading Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet hoping to find a Romney connection to the grisly Mormons recounted in that early Sherlock Holmes caper.

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