Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Sep. 2008
Summary: Internet rumor predicts an Obama campaign "October surprise" -- Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden will "excuse himself" from the ticket for health reasons and be replaced by Hillary Clinton.
Email example contributed by B. White, Sep. 15, 2008:
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 3:49 PM
Subject: Biden Stepping Down from the Ticket????
This is the most recent unconfirmed report/rumor I have received about Biden stepping down from the ticket, and the first I've circulated. It's crystal clear that Biden is a liability to the Democratic ticket, and Hillary would bring scorned radical feminists back into the Democratic fold. (I'd wager that Hillary & Co. would not vote for an Obama/Biden ticket, allowing McCain to win so Hillary can run on her own in 2012.)
The question would then be, if Hillary becomes the Democratic VP nominee, and Obama/Clinton win, does Obama suspect her plan to run against him in the 2012 Democratic primary?
Let me share some info with you that I have gotten from excellent sources within the DNC: On or about October 5th, Biden will excuse himself from the ticket, citing health problems, and he will be replaced by Hillary. This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2.
There have been talks all weekend about how to proceed with this info. Generally, the feeling is that we should all go ahead and get it out there to as many blog sites and personal email lists as is possible. I have already seen a few short blurbs about this - the "health problem" cited in those articles was an aneurysm. Probably many of you have heard the same rumblings.
However, at this point, with this inside info from the DNC, it looks like this Obama strategy will be a go. Therefore, it seems that the best strategy is to get out in front of this Obama maneuver, spell it out in detail, and thereby expose it for the grand manipulation that it is.
So, let's start mixing this one up and cut the Obamites off at the pass - send this info out to as many people as you can - post it on websites and blogs - etc etc
Lastly, I have put an excerpt from Rudy Giuliani's speech at the 2008 RNC below - it seems to address this very issue:
"Well, I'll tell you, if I were Joe Biden, I'd want to get that VEEP thing in writing!!! " (How Prophetic)
Comments: This juicy nugget has been making the rounds of pro-McCain blogs since September 14. Perusing the comments, one finds an uneasy mixture of skepticism ("To me it seems more like just forwarded email-type gossip") and credulity ("But I could be wrong").
One blogger cites an anecdotal report to the effect that a pollster named Richard Arnone, allegedly a former Clinton adviser, has been asking prospective voters if they would reconsider voting for McCain if Hillary Clinton was on the Obama ticket. Even if true, it wouldn't count as evidence that Democrats are actually considering making such a switch.
Frankly, it's hard to tell if the rumormongering signals panic on the part of Republicans who fear that such a "grand manipulation" might actually take place, or a cynical attempt by them to convince the public that it's the Democrats who are feeling desperate and panicky. There are <a href="http://hillbuzz.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/too-funny-rush-limbaugh-starting-a-rumor-soetorobama-will-dump-joe-biden-as-vp/">indications</a> the rumor may have been started by Rush Limbaugh.
In any case, no sources have been named, nor is there any compelling reason to regard this as anything but speculative hearsay.
Not to mention the fact that we have encountered this kind of "October surprise" claptrap before. Cast your memory back to the 2000 election and consider the telling similarities between the specimen above and the one below, which arrived in my inbox eight years ago to the month:
I just heard a rumor from a good source. The Republican party is feeling that Cheney is a liability on the ticket. There's a rumor that a few weeks prior to the election in a desperate attempt to win, Cheney will resign because of a trumped up heart problem or potential "threat to his health."
Then either John McCain or Colin Powell will be asked to come on the ticket and save the party. This move is afoot in top circles and to try to squelch it PLEASE send this letter to as many people as you can. If we get the rumor out on the internet, they won't be able to do their calculated move without repercussions.
It would be tempting to suppose that the chain letter campaign actually succeeded in foiling the Republican Party's "October surprise" plans in 2000 . . . if the whole idea hadn't been inspired by a cartoon.
Sources and further reading:
The Secret Plot to Dump Dick Cheney
Urban Legends, 26 September 2000
Last updated: 09/16/08