July 11th, 2008
06:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Fueling VP speculation, Obama heading to Iraq with Hagel, Reed

 Sens. Reed and Hagel will accompany Obama on a trip to Iraq.

Sens. Reed and Hagel will accompany Obama on a trip to Iraq.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama is heading to Iraq later this month with two Senate colleagues, Republican Chuck Hagel and Democrat Jack Reed, according to two sources familiar with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's plans.

The sources said the official Congressional delegation trip, known as a CODEL, will occur around the time Obama heads overseas for a previously-announced campaign trip to France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, and Jordan to help beef up his foreign policy credentials. Officials are keeping the precise dates of Obama's trip under wraps, however, for obvious security reasons.

The inclusion of Hagel on the official portion of the trip is guaranteed to further fuel speculation that Obama might pick a Republican as a running mate on a presidential ticket aimed at winning over independents. Hagel, who privately discusses foreign policy matters with both Obama and Republican presumptive presidential nominee John McCain, has publicly left the door open to a possible bipartisan ticket.

Watch: Hagel as Obama's VP?

Aides to Hagel and Reed both refused to comment when asked by CNN about the upcoming trip.

The Nebraska Republican could also be a contender for a Cabinet post like Defense Secretary if either Obama or McCain wins, according to strategists in both parties, because of his friendship with both candidates.

Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, is an Army veteran who is respected in both parties for his knowledge of national security issues. Democratic strategists privately say Reed is highly-regarded by Obama and could also find himself on the short list for a variety of posts in a potential Democratic administration.

There has been speculation that the delegation may also stop in Afghanistan, but sources familiar with the trip would not confirm the possibility of a second stop.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iraq
soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. Marc PDX

    Obama: "Oh, all right. If I have to...."

    July 11, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  2. NotFallingInLine.org


    Maybe he'll have a chance to flip-flop again... er, "further refine" his position on withrawing combat troops.

    Knoxville NFIL

    July 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Marc PDX

    Quick! Somebody send Barack a copy of "The Iraq War for Dummies" before he goes!

    July 11, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Ted

    And the fake Hillary boosters shall enter...

    July 11, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Marc PDX

    Wow! A Republican VP for Obama? That'll really put a burr under Hillary's saddle. Gee, just little more movement to the right and we'll have Obama in the Republican party. Just a little more coaxing and "we'll love Obama", too! 🙂

    July 11, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. Vic

    I have so much respect for Mr. Chuck Hagel. This is no doubt Mr. Obama's VP. A democrat and a republican on one ticket is change we can unite about.......

    July 11, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. N Thomas

    If our guys do come home from Iraq and Afghanistan any time soon, I sure hope our Congress has jobs for them!!!

    July 11, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. Grace

    Wise man! More power to Obama.

    July 11, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Raina, San Francisco, CA

    I'd love to see Obama pick Hagel as his running mate. That would really make all your little right-wing heads spin!

    July 11, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Rob

    Excellent working group. Hagel is a smart guy who although Republican, does not buy into the Bush/McBush war Monger mentality.

    July 11, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Kathy in Michigan


    Obama/Hagel 208!!!!!!!

    I am sure that McSame is worried! He is going to go home and take the weekend off and rest and then he will come back on Monday and worry about it.

    The Obama Hagle ticket is a sure winner!!!!

    July 11, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. not important

    I really do hope that Iraq will not be another South Vietnam.

    July 11, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Mike

    Im a dem and don't care what Obama is doing. The media treats him like a rock star with no experience. I vote experience so this dem is going with McCain.

    July 11, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Mike

    The difference between Rock Obama and Sleepy McLame is. Hagel will not have to whisper in Obama's ear to tell him the difference between a Persian and an Arab or a Shiite and a Sunni like Lieberman has to do with McBush.

    July 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. MarthaK-Florida

    YOU foks are the ones who early on compared Obama to JFK. Now that he's trying to campaign in the same manner, you just can't stand it, can you? You can't stand that he's is a monumental success and is loved around the world...can you? So what if he speaks in front of the Brandenberg Gate? And like Jck said, it's up to the Mayor of Berlin...not the Bush Administration. So what if he accepts his party's nomination in a stadium that can actually HOLD the numbers of people that will want to see it?
    You media types are looking more foolish every day (except Jack Cafferty, who apparently "gets it").

    July 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Women In California For Obama

    Great! He left McCan't behind where he belongs.

    July 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  17. David in Illinois

    Obama should pick Hagel for Veep!

    July 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Norma

    Marc PDX

    The Iraq War for Dummmies yeah Bush wrote the book!!
    The biggest Dope we had as a president.

    You go Obama!!

    July 11, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. Mommyof2

    Why should he go? Everything he sees will be pre-arranged by Generals and other people whose best interests are endangered by his (and our) desire to withdraw.
    It's just a trap - it's propaganda - and I love how folks on here think they know more about the situation in Iraq than anyone else.... are you there????

    July 11, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. Donna

    It's Hillary or I vote for Nader. Sorry, I can't support Obama as he stands right now.

    July 11, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Bayou Joe

    Since this is the year of the "Traitor" I would not be suprised if he picks
    a Republican as his running mate. Then again everyone of has experienced a Judas in our ranks. Bill Richardson comes to mind.

    It won't matter, Obama as President is not acceptable. We need an experienced seasoned Patriot at the Helm. Go McCain.

    July 11, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. Neil

    I wonder if he'll make the mistake of McCain and say General Petraeus never has to go out in an armored humvee and then when confronted says, "Well I never said he never goes out with protection."

    And the Hilliterates, PUMAs, and GOPers comment 5...4...3...2...1

    July 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. frank

    HES to scared to go alone
    mr flip=flop

    July 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. Anita from Arizona

    Oh man, I'm getting excited. This indepent loves Hagel.

    July 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Kim


    July 11, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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