The early results are suggesting a healthy win for Barack Obama in North Carolina and a much narrower win, maybe 52-48 or so, for Hillary Clinton in Indiana. That won't end her campaign -- nuclear obliteration wouldn't do that at this point but it makes Clinton's mission even harder. In that context, do you think this smacks of a little desperation coming from Team Hillary tonight.
This is what Harold Ickes, a longtime advisory to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, told Mark Halperin of Time's The Page tonight:
“We don’t know enough about Senator Obama yet. We don’t need an October Surprise. And (the chance of) an October Surprise with Hillary is remote.”
This remark is dismaying on several levels, partly because Ickes is virtually channeling Karl Rove, who implied something similar in a recent interview with GQ -- not backed up by any information of course. Just planting this vague idea in Joe Average Voter's head that there's something about Barry -- pick your vice, political or personal -- that all the kool kidz inside the Beltway know about, and it's going to pop one week before the election, is the only strategy here. As if the Clinton camp wouldn't use that information now, when they are still so eager to win but probably can't do so without a "game changer."
Look, anything's possible but I highly doubt it. Despite what people claim, Obama has now been pretty vetted -- the Wright stuff has been bubbling under the surface for a year now -- and I'd be surprised if there's a surprising new avernue of attack at this point. Meanwhile, the only October Surprise I worry about is that our lame ducks at 1600 Pa. Avenue sign onto the Iran obliteration plan. And the only October Surprise I want is the one depicted at top -- the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series.