October 22, 1980 – The October Surprise (sort of).
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for October 22, 1980
News for this October 22nd in 1980, in addition to feverish campaigning on the parts of the Carter and Reagan camps, was word that a possible breakthrough in negotiations for the 50 Americans held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was taking place.
But like much of the situation taking place in that region, there was a ball of confusion attached to it. According to the Kyodo News Agency in Japan, a high ranking official in Tehran claimed the hostages were no longer an important issue in Iran, having served their purpose. It gave hope to the U.S. the hostages would be released soon, at least for a little while, as the story changed a few hours later, and kept bouncing back and forth between denials. Even so, it was announced in Tehran that, if the U.S. met some of the negotiation points, it could be as soon as the following week that the hostages could be released. Diplomatic circles were heard to remark they had been on that yo-yo string before and were taking a wait-and-see attitude. Carter Administration officials poo-pooed the idea that Reagan claimed to have “a plan” to get the hostages released. Carter maintained a thin lead over Reagan in the midst of what was being considered a lackluster election season.