Princeton Professor Julian Zelizer says that “something shocking” is set to rock the presidential race and that “we should all hold on to our seats” in anticipation of an October surprise that could take the form of a national security crisis.In an article for CNN, Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, writes that “For many reasons, the odds are pretty good that something shocking will happen next month.”
Zelizer suggests that a “national-security crisis” will unfold in the coming weeks and that both Clinton and Trump “might have to adjust their campaigns” to deal with an event that “could have a dramatic effect.”
This could take one of two forms – a large scale Islamic terror attack on U.S. soil – which would directly benefit Trump – or a military escalation with Russia – which would almost certainly benefit Clinton because Hillary could claim that Trump has been cozying up to Vladimir Putin.
According to Zelizer, third party organizations, politicians and individuals who oppose both Trump and Clinton are also set to “do something that will sway the electorate their way.”
Everyone expects that Wikileaks and Julian Assange still have the October surprise up their sleeve, which is why the establishment has already got out ahead of the story and will blame any further leaked documents or hacked emails that embarrass Hillary Clinton on Russia and Putin.
However, another “shock” could take the form of a domestic terror attack blamed on white supremacists that is seized upon by Hillary to demonize the Trump campaign.
Although not every presidential race in recent history has been impacted by an “October surprise,” there are some notable examples.
The 2004 appearance of Osama Bin Laden in a videotaped message a few days before the presidential election in which he all but urged people to vote for Senator John Kerry was later acknowledged by both George W. Bush and John Kerry as the deciding factor behind Bush’s victory in that year’s closely fought election contest.
Bin Laden’s intervention was so controversial and crucial that veteran newscaster Walter Kronkite told Larry King at the time that he thought the whole episode was a “set-up” orchestrated by Karl Rove.
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