July 11th, 2008
06:26 PM ET
6 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. Ridgeway

    Oh, a visit to the "Old Country". Hey, Hussein is back!

    July 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Susan

    If Obama picks anyone besides Hillary, we will not vote for him.

    July 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. Cheryll

    I think Obama should definitely go to Iraq and talk to the people on the ground ..Maybe they will buy into his liberal garbage. Maybe he can get his picture put up on a mosque in his NASCAR! I sure the Iraqis will love him...Hey ! Maybe he will stay and show the Iraqis exactly how is is going to bring peace to the world with his great dialog! I would like to see him put up or shut up about how great he will be for the world...

    July 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. ABG

    If Obama picks a Republican as his VP, that will be desperation at its best!

    As a lifelong Democrat, I will not vote for him unless another Democrat is his VP.

    Why reward Republicans? They have had their 8 awful years which has gotten us into an economic mess.

    July 11, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. Paul Lennon

    If Obama picks one of these jokers, he must think he can't win in November.

    What in the world have these dumb delegates done, and the far left of this party?

    I have zero confidence he knows anything about the war or money.

    Smart D's might have to go with McCain

    July 11, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  6. velmeezee

    Auntie Coosa, did you get McCain and Obama confused? Sen Obama usually has a decent aswer for all questions posed to him. McCain can't even remember why he voted for Viagra and not birth control in a healthcare bill. You should watch that video btw, it is hillarious!

    July 11, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  7. A NATION OF WHINERS

    A DELEGATION OF AMERICAN LEADERS,

    IN CONTRAST TO THE THREE STOOGES,

    MCSAME ,PILL POPPER & LIEBERFOOL.

    July 11, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  8. Steve J61

    My previous statements about Obama where very negative. With the possibility of him running a bi-partisian ticket, it got my attention. Could somebody please clarify something for me? I want to understand the Muslim connection with him. This is my greatest concern. Any help would be appreciated.

    July 11, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  9. tonybama, grahamsville, ny

    Obama/Hagel 08!!

    Great unity ticket, plus Hagel's military experience and sound judgment, makes him the best possible choice (and his wife donated to Obama's campaign).

    July 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    The democrats would never agree to this selection as Hagel for V.P. since he disagrees with the deomcratic agenda of a European Style Socialist Agenda and thier anything goes attitude. Like I heard today from the pundints a cabinet post would be more likely.

    July 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. Lance

    If he has to go republican, he can't do better than Hagel. Hagel has a history of breaking from the right side to reach across the aisle, and I have to admit that it would sync well with Obama's message of change. It would be backing up the talk, something very hard to find in politics.

    July 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  12. Ingrid

    Hagel would make a great Secy. of Defense. Clark is a great general, but he has foor-in-mouth disease. I'm sure he will give Obama his best advice on the situation, which is, of course, why he's going along. Sen. Reed has a good reputation, but I really like Sebelius.

    July 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. Dan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Newbie hack!?

    July 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. NuAmerica

    THE CHANGE IS COMING. Ha HA

    July 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. Orange

    Democrats Take Hagel
    Republicans Take Loserman

    I agree, another Democrat for Mc Cain

    July 11, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. HAswamp

    I don't think we should read much into this beyond just a collaboration for a visit to Iraq.
    We cannot imagine that a republican will be given a no.2 spot, to become no. 1 if something happens after a hard fought election to replace republicans in White House. I don't think that the Democratic party in the senate would like a republican to become President of the senate.
    Please ! Stop jumping to conclusion from a simple trip. Of course, Hagel will be welcome to change parties.

    July 11, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Arnie, NY

    Hopefully the great appeaser will stay in Iraq-–can't you see Obama coming back with a peace treaty from Al Qaeda? What would you think that would be worth? Six months later Al Qaeda would be in our neighborhoods and we'd be driving to work in an armored car. Think it can't happen?

    July 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. Orange

    Our Nation not Obamanation.
    HOPE and CHANGE is a smokescreen for a real bad agenda.

    PUMA for Mc Cain

    July 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. Mike

    So Rock Obama put his name on a Nascar Race Car. Cool. What will McLame do now? Put his name on a Rascal? It can go in slow circles to the tune of Alley Cat.

    July 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Both of these men accompanying Obama have a lot of integrity and I am glad he has chosen them for his trip abroad.

    Carole/Independent: You are exaggerating to the point of untruth to feel better about your choice. O.K....... Do you have the same discernment capabilities when it comes to McCain? Look at the following that has occurred in his campaign in a ONE (1) week period ...... (not mentioning anything else....)

    During this past week, THE LAST SEVEN DAYS alone:

    1. McCain called the most important entitlement program in the U.S., social security, a "disgrace" because it is funded by the deductions of those still in the work force. (He apparently did not know that this is the way it has ALWAYS worked!)
    2. His top economic adviser called the American people whiners
    3. McCain released an economic plan that no one thought was serious. He touted the support of 300 economic advisers, many who when asked, said that they signed on something different and did not endorse his economic policies.
    4. He flip flopped on Iraq
    5. He joked about the deaths of Iranian citizens
    6. He denied making comments that he clearly made TWICE.
    7. Blasted Obama for not voting on a bill when he himself missed the vote due to campaigning.
    8. Promotes kicking Russia out of the G8, effectively bringing cold war tensions back with them.
    9. When asked why Viagra was covered by insurance companies and not birth control pills (even though they are used for more than birth control), he could not answer. He said he would have to take a look at his voting record. He could not answer.

    MIND YOU, THIS WAS ONLY IN O-N-E (1) WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And some of you call Obama an empty suit without going to his website or watching the full speeches and Q and A sessions or going to the Library of Congress to see what he has worked on in the Senate! Put away the fear and put your "thinking caps on".

    Have a safe, fruitful trip Senator Obama.

    July 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. ben

    A qualified Republican running mate would be "Change We Can Live With" and elect.

    July 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  22. Bobby Christian

    Good job democrats. You have selected a nominee that has flip-flopped on every issue that he stood so hard for during the primaries. Watch once he gets into office everything he has said during the race will be nothing but talk. For all you people blinded by him you need to look through the talk and realize he is a politicial trying to get into office! I refuse to vo

    July 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. The Oracle

    Auntie Coosa, like McCain's viagra moment?? Lmao!!!!

    July 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. Clyde Wilder PO1USN Retiered

    I think an Obama/Hagel ticket would be a great idea.And if he is eledted he should ask Gen,Powell to be his Sec.of Defence and
    Gen.Swartskof for Sec of State,and then we may beable to get this
    country back to the people.And we should put Lou Dobbs in charge of imigration to

    July 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Texas Liberal

    If Obama doesn't pick Clinton, then I think he should reach outside of politics altogether. How about Bill Gates or someone else from the business world? (Just not a Libertarian dingbat like Romney or a typical CEO type.) Or someone from a foundation, like the Rockefeller foundation? Or the city manager of a large city? Perhaps a distinguished professor of political science? We have been electing career politicians for a hundred years, with the exception of Eisenhower, and it hasn't worked out very well. The Roosevelts, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter were the distinguished exceptions. The others (Cleveland, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush) were terrible disappointments.

    July 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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