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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October Surprise 1992

The FBI has revealed that it reviewing a new batch of emails that might relate to its previous investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server.  Will this story change the course of the campaign?  It is hard to tell at this moment, but there is a parallel to 1992.

In 1999, The Washington Post ran excerpts from Bob Woodward's book, Shadow:
On Friday morning, October 30, the Bush campaign daily tracking poll had the race a dead heat at 39 percent for Clinton, 39 percent for Bush and 12 percent for independent candidate Ross Perot. That afternoon, Walsh's grand jury voted the new indictment of Weinberger. The first wire story came out about 1 p.m.
Most news organizations have a strong policy against publishing or airing new issues or charges in the final days of a campaign. But the Weinberger re-indictment was an official grand jury action, and the "VP favored" was technically new. It was the first documented evidence that Bush had known the arms were a direct exchange for hostages and that Bush had been privy to the strong opposition of Weinberger and Shultz.
Clinton's running mate, Al Gore, jumped on the issue and used a Watergate analogy, calling it "a true smoking gun."
Bush was on a campaign train in Wisconsin the next day. His daily tracking poll was a shock. Clinton was still at 39 percent, but Bush had dropped 7 percentage points to 32 percent with those 7 points going straight to Perot, putting the Texas billionaire at 19. It happened to be Halloween. When Bush stopped in Chippewa Falls, a single-engine plane circled overhead with a fluttering banner streaking behind: "Iran-Contra Haunts You."