Bob Franken

The Surprise Tardy

We all know how anticipation can intensify an experience. Come to think of it, we don’t all know, but we’ll save that for my long-awaited sex advice manual.

This is about the decidedly UNsexy fantasy world of presidential politics, and the buildup to a killer “October Surprise”. The surprise is we haven’t really had one yet.

Can we just get it over with already? (Come to think of it, maybe it IS like sex).

Normally the Republicans would have spewed some toxic final smears by now. That’s not to say the Democrats are not capable of the last minute cheap shot, but in the annals of desperation low blow it’s the GOP that has achieved great success as the Surprise Party.

This year, it’s mid-October and we’re still waiting. Surely, Joe the Plumber wasn’t it. His story didn’t even really check out. It was kind of paltry to begin with and he’s already been relegated to the toilet bowl of campaign trivia.

There’s ACORN, but so far that one has proven to be example of the McCain campaign barking up the wrong tree.

Bill Ayers? You gotta be kidding. Not that the McCain peeps and now the Republican National Committee haven’t been trying to put on Ayers. They’ve even gone high tech with robo-calls. Hasn’t anyone told them we’ve been disgusted with automated telephone messages for years?

Nevertheless, the McCain operatives are using them to spread the word that Barack Obama consorts with a man who is an unredeemed terrorist in do-gooder disguise, a person who tried to great harm to the United States. So far, the response appears to be a collective yawn. The only outrage that registers is over negative tactics.

Maybe that’s because John McCain has had to explain his own connections to those who’ve done such harm to our country. That would be his beloved free-markeeters and the administration enablers who gave them such freedom to market without meaningful protection for the rest of us.

Unlike Ayers these people are anything but unredeemed. They have accumulated massive fortunes for their mass destruction of the world economy.

This collapse and the hardships shared by almost everyone else became impossible to ignore last month. Since then, the same black hole that is consuming the world financial system has also sucked in Republican prospects.

Maybe this year’s October Surprise was a September Surprise. It shouldn’t have been one anybody who wasn’t wearing the blinders of greed. Even though that would be most of us, the pollsters are discerning an angry national mood and a strong desire to punish those in power who might have had the power to prevent the debacle.

Maybe the Democrats will sponsor their own robo-calls reminding everyone John McCain is a member of the same party as George W. Bush.

Or maybe they’ll do nothing and let the weight of the last eight years do its own job for their campaign. It’s hard to imagine any scurrilous disclosure that could match the ones we see every day in the stock market. But if we could imagine it, it wouldn’t be a surprise, now would it?

So we’re waiting.

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