Print Columns   |   Web Chats   |   Blog Archives   |  

Halloween Election Special: Scare Stories

Random scary bits on All Hallow's Eve and the eve of the last weekend before the last weekdays before, oh yes, it's really coming, the actual end of the long, long campaign:

From my email inbox: "Attached you will find a $150,000.00 USD reward letter applicable to any individual or company that releases the video of Senator Barack Obama held by the Los Angeles Times."

The story, from the L.A. Times: "John McCain's presidential campaign Tuesday accused the Los Angeles Times of 'intentionally suppressing' a videotape it obtained of a 2003 banquet where then-state Sen. Barack Obama spoke of his friendship with Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian scholar and activist. The Times first reported on the videotape in an April 2008 story about Obama's ties with Palestinians and Jews as he navigated the politics of Chicago. The report included a detailed description of the tape, but the newspaper did not make the video public."


From my email inbox: "Don't let the McCain vs. Obama debate ruin your marriage. Many couples' relationships suffer during political races when each spouse hangs on ferociously to political views that differ from their mates'. This year's run for the White House will be more contentious than ever."

The story: It's a pitch for Divorce Magazine, which, judging by its title, you'd think would indeed want the presidential race--or anything, for that matter--to ruin your marriage. I mean, how many happily married subscribers is Divorce Magazine likely to have?


A few readers in the Clarendon section of Arlington have sent along copies of a letter they received in the mail. Some, but not all, of the readers had posted an Obama sign on their lawns. What they got in response to the campaign sign was an anonymous letter accusing them of "a problem that you may be having.... Have you ever considered whether your ostentatious support for Senator Barack Obama is really a disguise that hides a deeply anchored form of racism towards Black-Americans?"

The letter goes on to claim that support for Obama among whites really reflects "an obsessive compulsion to prove to yourself and to others that you are not a racist." The letter appears to come from someone who is very upset about Obama having defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries, but whatever rational basis there may have been for the letter is washed away by its bizarre argument: It asks the recipients to ask themselves why they've fallen for Obama. "Am I any better than those [who] pretend not to stare at a bi-racial couple?"

Those who received the letter were clearly upset. If the letter-writer "can succeed," writes reader Joan Arsenault, "we will no longer be a free people, which, near as I can tell, is what they want."

Despite various efforts to identify the sender of the letter, no name has yet surfaced.


Finally, not every campaign story is scary. Indeed, even in these final hours before the vote, there are moments of comity and reason. Here's one:

In Virginia, the ACLU and the conservative Rutherford Institute have come together to agree to sue the state government in an effort to overturn Virginia's absurd ban on the wearing of politically themed clothing to the polls on Election Day. Even beyond the lovely cooperation by groups left and right is their timing: Rather than hysterically attempt to force an already-swamped state bureaucracy to deal with a last-minute lawsuit, the ACLU, Rutherford and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression decided to announce that they will file their protest and begin the process of turning around this anti-freedom provision in the law...after the election.

How remarkably...reasonable.

Ok, enough of that. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming, such as this gallery of truly awful Obama, McCain and Palin Halloween costumes. If I were Joe Biden, I'd be royally miffed.

By Marc Fisher |  October 31, 2008; 12:34 PM ET
Previous: Still Can't Decide? Try Obama & McCain Radio | Next: Obama, McCain And Trust In The Ordinary Man


Please email us to report offensive comments.

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company