The “October Surprise,” the supposedly race-changing unexpected development late in the cycle, could be an economic development (a jobs loss or a big jobs gain) or a foreign event (an Israeli attack). But these wouldn’t really be surprises since we’ve been talking for months about the potential for both. A real surprise, in my book, would be something like:

President Obama appears on “Meet the Press.”

Obama presents a complete tax reform or Medicare reform proposal.

Obama reveals the results of that probe into intelligence leaks (remember that one?).

Obama decides to do something to avoid the fiscal cliff or to head off the defense sequestration.

Obama decides to do “everything” he can to remove Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria.

But let’s not forget about the Romney-Ryan ticket. It would be a stunner, if:

Mitt Romney gets through the rest of the race without another media-created or media-amplified gaffe moment.

“Fast and Furious,” the Libya embassy debacle or the dreadful economy become the above-the-fold stories for the remainder of the race instead of polls, gaffes and the media’s coverage of polls and gaffes.

Romney explains his Medicare support plan.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reads aloud on the campaign trail from the ultimate indictment against the president, Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics.”

In even one of the debates the moderator grills Obama on his lack of a second term domestic agenda.

Well, these would be surprising. Maybe we should set expectations a little lower — a substantive debate on the size of government or someone in the Obama administration honest and brave enough to explain what the president knew and when he knew it about the coordinated al-Qaeda attack in Libya.