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. justme2727

    Seriously, folks, do you all really think using terms like, McLame, McBush, McSame, Hilliterates, and Loserman helps to make your argument seem valid? What are we, in elementary school?! Obama is trying to elevate the level of conversation. How about we try it?

    July 11, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. DavidSTX

    Obama should take someone who will challenge his thinking. Neither Reed nor Hagel will do that. It would be interesting if he took someone like Lieberman. Obama, Reed, and Hagel will be nothing but group think. Dare to take someone other than those who'll simply agree with you Obama!

    BTW – Hagel won't attract many Republican votes to Obama. He's as out of favor in the Republican party as Lieberman is in the Democratic Party. In fact Hagel on Obama's ticket would be one reason for me to vote against Obama.

    July 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Richard Wise

    NObama '08

    July 11, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. goodtimepolitics

    Obama is between a rock and a hard spot when it comes to Iraq! If he does not listen to the commander on the ground in Iraq he will surely lose votes and if he listens to the commanders he will lose the far left anti war people! Its a losing situration for obama and John McCain will end up the better of the two on the Iraq war!

    July 11, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Vence

    Obama on the same track as bush. Hummm!

    July 11, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    As usual, Obama is smart enough to surround himself with good people – unlike McCain and our present president. And for those "democrats" who are voting for McCain because of his 'experience', would you vote for Bush IF he could run again? It's essentially the same thing.

    July 11, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Scott, Wichita

    so, why is it when Obama considers a republican for VP, it's considered "change," and when McCain considers Lieberman, it's considered "being a traitor?"

    sounds like more obamabot hypocrisy to me

    July 11, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Cindy in Boston

    President Obama will be the world president for sure..
    Vote for future, vote for prosperity, vote to end Washington's corruption and fear tactics...............................Obama 08/12

    July 11, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. McSameMcCain on myspace

    It is not possible for Barack to get the copy or Iraq for Dummies.....the president isn't don't coloring in it yet.

    July 11, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. McSameMcCain on myspace

    It is not possible for Barack to get the copy or Iraq for Dummies.....the president isn't done coloring in it yet.

    July 11, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. KE

    I think Hagel was Obama’s first choice.

    July 11, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. DMitri

    Republican whiners in general are pretty pathetic. Unable to accept responsibility for the state of the country their President created, unable to understand that pre-emptive strikes are illegitimate, unable to understand that taxing high-bracket individuals reflects diminishing marginal returns to a dollar of income, unable to accept that diversity is becoming the rule, unable to understand that knowing more than English is a smart idea, unable to understand that Republicans have wasted more money in the past 8 years than Democrats have in a century.... it goes on and on. They won't be happy until yet another old, caucasion right-wing hawk is perturbing the world, emptying the bank and ruining America's already abysmal reputation. Thanks, Republicans.

    July 11, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Bill from Fairport, NY

    What an absolutely great idea.

    July 11, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. r.h. davis

    Two words..one v.p...
    Ron Paul....

    July 11, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. S Callahan

    Wow! I'm not sure how I feel about this..first thought..is this what they mean by 'one world order'.......

    July 11, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. PUMA 4 HILL

    OMGosh... PANDER, PANDER, PANDER to the utmost degree. Is he a joke or what?

    True conservatives will not vote for him – geez, their having trouble supporting the moderate McCain.

    Hill supporters... STOP the madness. We must stick together to give Hill a shot in 2012. This is one of the reasons Obama boy is considering this. He knows he's in trouble if even only a third of Hill's voters go McCain.

    McCain '08 for Hill '12

    July 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. One


    July 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. Lars Larson

    We are only in mid-July and already McCain is trying to cover his tracks and re-direct what he and his top aides are saying. Can you imagine what is going to happen once the conventions are over and the gloves are off for two solid months?

    Trust me, McCain's comments about divorce being bad are going to be on every highlight reel from here to kingdom come.

    Neither candidate has been completely honest and hasn't flip-flopped, but McCain will have alot of 'splaining to do when he has to clarify his comment on divorce and how it is bad.

    Oh wait, did he forget that he himself is divorced? Whoops.

    July 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Juan Grain

    I have said all along that Chuck Hagel would make an excellent VP! It would send a clear and resounding message to the world that senator obama is dead serious about uniting our country. Our country is about evenly divided on politics, and certainly the majority is not going to be 60 seats in the senate. Bringing Senator Hagel on would be something that republicans can go for, it would allow Senator Obama to win with a huge and clear mandate 40+ states. Phone banking would be fun! you wouldhave both brands that you can sell! Go for it Senator Obama, don't let the establishement lock you down with the same old crap. Choose the sharpest penciles in the box, regardless of party, race, gender or age!

    July 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. Tarrie

    I see " Who wants to be a Moron" has started, tonight's contests are: PUMA and McSame rats....

    July 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  21. Casey

    Not surprised. Hagel is very definitely anti-Dubbya and more recently, not close to his former buddy McCain.

    He's the most democratic Republican I've ever seen. He'd be a good V.P. choice if he'd change party or at least go Independent.

    July 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  22. Sam

    Whatever...Obama is an empty suit


    July 11, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Elin

    Obama/Hagel, i saw this one coming a longtime, these two men will create such power together, this will sure put McCain in deeper trouble than he already is in.

    July 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Hello!

    Ted, give it a rest.......

    July 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. SC for Hillary

    OMG Obama you are the biggest idiot I have seen in years, Of all the fine democratic senators who supported your corrupted butt, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill richardson,etc, and you come up with a thought like Hagel, it's no wonder Jesse Jackson could cut your nuts off, because you do not know which way is up. You are Clueless and should be minus your balls.

    July 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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