October Surprise is a trick used by politicians just before presidential elections in the United States of America. With election slated to be held on November 3, the previous October month has witnessed a lot of surprises including Trump's tax claim and Hunter Biden's email expose. Here is what October Surprise means.
These are exposes or last-minute announcements that surprise the people just when the election is round the corner. These announcements are aimed at turning tables helping the candidate [responsible for the expose] take a lead. Though this practice is being followed from 1800s, the term was first coined by William Casey during Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign.
From Hubert Humphrey to George Bush
The concept of revealing surprises in October was effectively used during the 1968 presidential election, when Hubert Humphrey used Vietnam War as October Surprise. In his support, President Johnson officially announced a bombing halt, and even a possible peace deal, the weekend before the election. This was supposed to give Humphrey the necessary lead. But at the end, Republican candidate Richard Nixon won the election and the October Surprise did not show the expected result.
During the 1972 presidential election Richard Nixon used announcements regarding Vietnam War stating "We believe that peace is at hand" as October Surprise. However, Nixon was already leading and popular against Democrat candidate McGovern. This October Surprise is said to have widened the lead and Nixon won the election again.
In 1980, Republican candidate Ronald Reagan is said to have used Iran hostage situation as October Surprise. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981. During the elections, Carter was trying to get the U.S. hostages released, but Reagan continued to condemn Carter in not being successful in getting the hostages released. Reagan won the election, but conspiracy theory states that Reagan had made a secret pact with Iranian government and saw to it that hostages were released only after he was sworn in as the President of the U.S.
During 2000 elections, days before polling, information that Republican candidate George W Bush had pleaded guilty for drunken driving in 1976 was leaked online. Bush apologized to his behavior 24 years ago but also said that this news would not harm him in the election against Democrat candidate Al Gore. Rest is history as Bush won the election.
Trump and last minute email expose'
In 2016, when Republic candidate Trump campaigned against Democrat Hillary Clinton, a clip putting Trump in bad light was released. The clip was of Trump speaking badly about women in 2005. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything," Trump was heard saying. Trump later apologized for the same and said that doesn't reflect who he is.
Days before election on October 28, FBI Director James Comey announced probe into additional emails related to Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. This announcement was made after FBI found new emails in the computer that was seized while probing former congressman Anthony Weiner. Weiner was accused of sending explicit pictures to a minor. Enforcement officials had said that the emails were found on a computer used by both Weiner and his then-wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abcedin. This October Surprise did help Trump, who won the election in 2016.
In the current election, statistics prove that Democrat candidate Biden is leading the race against Trump. But looks like Trump is not leaving any stone unturned as this time just days before the election, an email related to of Biden's son Hunter has been released.
The emails were obtained by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, from the laptop used by Biden's son Hunter. One of the emails revealed was sent by Vadym Pozharskyi, a Burisma adviser in 2014. Pozharskyi had thanked Hunter Biden for arranging a meeting with the vice president Biden. Hunter was then a paid board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian-owned private energy company.
Republicans are using this as October Surprise and claiming that Biden family benefited financially by providing Burisma access while stating that then vice president Biden was partial while delivering his duties.