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. Lorna, NY

    My husband is Russian and came to the US in 1979. His English is better than mine! In Russia, Japan and most European countries they teach English in their schools. I think the US would be competitive in this global economy if they learned another language other than English. My children are bilingual Russian-English and it has helped them tremendously. I think Obama is right, we should learn other languages, maybe then we will become a country of independent thinkers instead of a country group thinkers.

    July 11, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. mlp

    That's ridiculous. Sorry, he keeps leaning to the right. Between this and voting to give the telecommunications companies amnesty.... I'll probably still vote for him over McCain, but I have contributed my last dollar.

    July 11, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. Allen from Hartwell, GA

    What do you call a "dem" who won't vote for Obama?

    Seems to me that there are a lot of people who love their country enough that they will support an unknown but excellent choice for president rather than a known but unqualified choice. Get over it!

    This country is going to be forced to become an equal opportunity employer. Y'all can be drug along screaming and kicking or join the march.

    July 11, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |

    Obama is not afraid to do a lot of things and he has great wisdom. I am so looking forward to his presidency. It would be awesome to have a bi-partisan executive branch to our government...the first step in getting things in this country turned around.

    July 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Drew from Green Bay, WI

    I've been hoping for an Obama/Hagel ticket for a while now, since I first read CNN's VP candidates for Obama. Obama/Hagel could get along well due to their apparent friendship, and could also represent the country as a whole at the same time. Hagel would help gain independants LEANING REPUBLICAN, and yet doesn't look like a completly political move. Hagel adds needed age/experience and foreign policy credentials. I believe Hagel could also help steal a lot of the Republicans that are sick of the war in Iraq. As for the con of Hagel being a conservative (according to CNN's VP candidate story), I just don't see that as a con. Obama would be surrounded by people who tell him the truth, instead of yes people like Bush has.

    July 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. Danny

    Hagel has betrayed our great state of Nebraska. he should resign from his position as our senator. Just go away.

    July 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Victoria Francis

    The only issue in common between Senator Hagel and Barack Obama is
    Iraq. What is the sense of picking Hagel. He is extremely to the right of the middle which would not win many votes of women's rights, labor and the poor.

    July 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    neither one will be the Veep cause before the selection process, obama will throw them under the bus along with his preacher and his grandmother.

    i am sick of my neighbors being bitter and clingers. I am a bible reader and hold my guns close.

    obama is going down to defeat. Utterly

    July 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. KOS

    Pick anybody you want; B. Hussein Obama is still B. Hussein Obama.

    July 11, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. jay

    I'm canadian but do pay a small amount of attention to you presidential races. I just have a question that needs answering. How come a democrat can choose a republican as his VP? I don't get that. Why is he allowed to choose anyone he wants and it isn't selected by the democratic party?

    July 11, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Glad to be an Independent

    I like that fact that Chuck Hagel is accompanying Obama. Either Hagel will be a possible VP choice or in an Obama administration. Obama's trip will show that he can handle himself on the world stage. It is time for a change in economic policy and foreign policy. Obama 2008

    July 11, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. whiner

    speculate all you want,but,president obama will choose the next vice president,when and who HE wants.the rest of you are irrelevant.

    July 11, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Low

    To All McCain lovers (the ones who actually work), ask Senator McShame is your Social Security secure will you retire.

    July 11, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Voter

    I'm no Obama fan, and I will either leave that spot blank or vote for Nader.

    But really, Obama fans, do you believe this? No. This is just a piece of nonsense written to get you all going. No Democrat is going to put a Republican in line for the presidency.

    Get real!

    July 11, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. Jim

    I wanted Hagel to run for president – he's a Republican, a Vietnam combat vet, is against the Iraq invasion and has no use for Bush. If Obama chooses him, this Republican will vote Democrat.

    July 11, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. JHal

    Flip-flop my foot. If Obama is Flexible to get it right. he's a winner. Get on the Obama train or get out of the way.

    July 11, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  17. Hannah

    SMART. Obama is doing this on his own time.

    July 11, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  18. Dwayne SA, TX

    I think everyone here is too delusional (Republican or Democrat), either one of these guys are going to be horrible for the US.

    McCain is a long-term Washington senator (one of most liberal Republicans)

    Obama is a short-term Washington senator who changes sides/ideas/positions as fast as McCain can (one of the most liberal Democrats)

    July 11, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. Fred from California

    Oh ... what about Mc Cain picking Hillary as VP then? They are a perfect match.

    She thinks McCain is qualified to be Commander in chief and Obama isn't and he has had nothing but praise for her recently. And both love to "bomb bomb bomb" and "annihilate" Iran.

    July 11, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. kasiasue

    I would think Romney would be a good choice.

    July 11, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. CTM

    Mc-"needs-a-Cain" does not know the difference between Shiites and Sunnis; he is the one that needs the copy of Iraq for Dummies.”

    July 11, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. Dianna from Texas

    I like that he is going with a bi-partisan committee to Iraq. He is showing us how he will act when president. I'm a democrat and I really think that Hillary should be his choice, even though I didn't like how she comported herself in the primaries. If he chooses a republican, I'm fine with that too. It's time to put bi-partisan politics behind us, and solve the challenges that lie ahead.

    Just as he chose to compromise on the FISA bill, I think he'll help the country find common ground between the parties, while holding off special interests and lobbyists that have fueled the bi-partisan bickering that has kept us from progressing as a nation.

    July 11, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Jerry in Fresno

    Reed and Hagel are excellent choices to take on the trip.

    It show that Obama knows how to maximize the use of his time and build bridges.

    Judement and leadership prevails: Obama 08!!

    July 11, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. jm from sc

    Carole, people does not have to be a republican to think that in some cases the death penalty should be considered. This is an awful misconception people have. If Bin Laden was the master mind behind 9/11, republicans are not the only party that agree that he should get the most harsh sentence available. This right and left thing is a bunch of BS.

    July 11, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. JERRAL


    vote for hagel
    who the hell cares

    July 11, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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