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. Ridgeway

    Hey, there Chrissy. Deal we'll swap you a Nancy for a man.

    July 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. aaa

    get them obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mcshame stop flip floping

    July 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Gary Chandler in Canada

    whoever is best 'available' foreign policy and military expert or he is not so smart after all. and someone who dodged 'real' bullets BTW.
    any other criteria and he is dumb as nuts.
    (the 8 point lead would jump to 16)

    July 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. Pablo the Jew

    Man O Manachevitz! Hagel is the man! He was the only Republican that had the stones to stand up to fellow republicans and the President. He's been in the 'nam, so he knows what he's talking about. He said the war was bull from the start. McCain looks older and more out of touch every day we get closer to election. Obama continues to put his money where his mouth is. A "liberal" Democrat reaches out to a moderate Republican. Obama puts himon the ticket, and that is pretty much a wrap. Hagel will pull in more moderate and independants than McCain could ever hope for. Hagel previously said he wouldn't accept a VP role, but that was before anybody asked him. If Obama reached out to him, I'm pretty sure he would accept. It shows that Obama is trully committed to fixing what the conservative wing of the Repiublican party has ruined in 8 years. The only way anything will get fixed in this country is with smart people on both sides of the isle pitching in to help.

    "This is a very real, responsible addressing of the most divisive issue in this country since Vietnam. Yes, sure, it’s tough. Absolutely. And I think all 100 senators ought to be on the line on this. What do you believe? What are you willing to support? What do you think? Why were you elected? If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes. This is a tough business. But is it any tougher, us having to take a tough vote, express ourselves and have the courage to step up on what we’re asking our young men and women to do?"

    July 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. Paul in Alexandria, VA

    One drawback to Senator Jack Reed is that his seat would be filled by whomever is elected to be Governor in Rhode Island this coming November.

    As it stands right now, the incumbent Republican is in the lead by about 10 points.

    Now, if the people of Rhode Island knew that voting for their Republican incumbent would also cost them one of their two Senate seats, it is possible that it could help motivate enough people to win the Governorship for the Democrats. But, it would be a gamble that could cost Dems a key Senate seat for at least a year.

    July 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  6. Vig

    Mr. Obama is only taking this interest and trip to Iraq because it furthers his political ambitions. Hillary Clinton went to Iraq when it didn't further her political ambitions and she would never exploit this war for her own personal gain. Disgusting.

    July 11, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. LightInTheDarkness

    All of you who "claim" to be Democrats who are voting for McCain because of his experience are misguided, misinformed fools. What "experience" does McCain have? How to run a dysfunctional campaign that needs to be re-organized and resurrected every few weeks. Give me a break! This nation is teetering on the brink – Energy Crisis, Healthcare Crisis, Environmental Crisis, Foreclosure Crisis, Skyrocketing Food Costs, Rising Unemployment, Falling or Stagnant Wages, Deepening Credit Crunch, GM on the Verge of Bankruptcy, an Emerging Banking Crisis. We CAN NOT AFFORD four more years of failed Bush policies, wanton criminality in the highest levels of government, Endless War! Obama may not be the ideal, and seems to become less so by the day, but he is our ONLY CHOICE to salvage what remains of the American way of life.

    July 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. justjoe


    July 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. used2bdemocrat

    If voters cannot see that the obama campaign is nothing more than smoke and mirrors then they are truly blind. No candidate can ever be everything to all; politics does not work that way. I believe the real obama is the obama that is reflected in his 20 year socialist, maxist, racist history, only a fool would believe otherwise. obama is the candidate of change alright; the only question is what part of his ideology will he change next week for political gain? America better wake up and see obama for the chameleon that he is before they put this blatant opportunist into office.


    July 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. Julie mn

    As a dem now for Senator McCain, I pray he picks Hagel !!!! perfect!

    July 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Linda in Indiana

    Why would Obama pick a Republican for vice president? If I have to vote for a Republican it will be McCain. Actually, what is wrong with Hillary Clinton, Joe Bidden, Evan Bayh, or any other half dozen or so good Democrats that deserve to be asked? When is Obama going to stop show boating and get down to acting Presidential? Everything has to be a big production or performance for him. If he makes it to the White House, hopefully reality will set in and he will actually do something!!!
    Hillary in 2012! Go Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Teddy

    That will not happen.

    Hagel is on the right on most issues. Obama and Hagel were possibly only on the same page on the Iraq issue. Hagel openly opposed the surge and he was at odds with McCain on the Iraq issue. That is why Hagel is going with Obama. With Iraq war going well, I do not think Hagel has much value on the issue either. Even Obama considered to change or moderate his position on Iraq.

    On other issues, they are not on the same page, especially abortion. Hagel is a strong pro-life Senate. He opposes abortion. Do you think pro-choice organizations and voters will support Hagel as VP? There is no way. If something happens to Obama and Hagel becomes President, then it is a Republican President. He will appoint different judges. VP is important because he/she can become President at any moment.

    If Hagel is the VP candidate, then there will be big problems with Clinton supporters, especially those pro-choice voters and organizations. The Denver convention will be a mess.

    July 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. Bitter and Whiney Nation

    I dont think Hagel is a VP candidate. He is going with Obama to Iraq because he is a Republican who opposes the war. When they return, Republican Hagel will then back Obama's call for a timetable and withdrawal, giving the sense of bipartisan unity on this.

    July 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. Karen in Cape Cod

    OBAMA would add anyone he thought would help him win the nomination! He has NO moral conviction about anything! He simply wants to be President! I WONDER WHY?

    July 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. S King


    S KIng Sonora KY.

    July 11, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. HENRY


    July 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  17. Brad

    I'm happy as long as he picks anybody except Hillary Clinton!

    Actually, Hagel is not that bad a choice, but it would totally upset the Democratic Party machine...not that that is a bad idea, since it consists of nothing more than the self-annointed representatives of various special interest groups.

    He doesn't have the nerve to do it, though...or does he?

    July 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. McBush = Nearing the end of an erosion cycle

    KiKi you better go drink some cool aid ?Auntie Coosa you are the one deceived you have the wrong name where have you been watching that old man misspeak to long?

    July 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. E. C., Houston, Texas

    HA! HA! Barack Hussein Obama will do and consider anything on this earth to get elected...............but he'll never, ever make it!

    July 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  20. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Barack Hussein Obama wouldn't have EVER, EVER thought of going on such a trip to Iraq and the Mideast .......IF Senator McCain had not told him to go! Yeah.......be sure to keep his plans "SECRET!" What a JOKE this guy is..........conceited to the hilt.........and a BIG JOKE!

    July 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  21. Reality Check

    Barak need to keep his mouth shot. I cannot believe he made an interview on death penalty for Bin Ladin. Who are these people advising Barak to come out and say such a thing. There are many people working hard for Barak. I dont know if Barack think his supporters appreciate such a comment from him. He has been doing nothing but making mistakes after mistakes.

    You are not yet the president Barack. Be careful what you say or keep your mouth shot.

    Obama supporter

    July 11, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. jon

    does jackson really reads the bible or he is a fake pastor he wishes too much evil

    July 11, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  23. Hillbilly for Obama


    Republicans have proven themselves completely untrustworthy ... even more so than the dems.

    July 11, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  24. mary

    Obama is sucking everyblood he can from the democras and all the people who are supporting him . He is doing enything for himself, but like J.J. he is not a real one b.

    July 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. PLC

    If Senator Obama would just pick Senator Clinton as his VP the ticket would have the foreign policy creditals it needs, not to mention my vote. If he picks a Republican or anyone else for that matter I vote for McCain.

    July 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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