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. Jeremy

    Read the comments on this post and then consider the trappings of partisanship. The majority of negative statements come from persons disgruntled from either a Republican or Democratic vantage. "Obama is a liberal so I'm mad;" "Hagel is a Republican so I'm mad" etc. The largest political demographic in this country is Independent (37%), why shouldn't our citizenry and public officials reflect our identity (by having independent minds untied to silly allegiances)! Based upon his background, his clarity and honesty of expression, and his proven judgment, Hagel seems solid. THE INDEPENDENT REVOLUTION IS COMING (whether or not Obama leads it).

    July 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. mariah storm

    i think dem/rep ticket is only way to bring mankind, together!!!!!
    it is at least an original approach to bringing the country together..
    thou, i think huckabee is the man for the ticket.... reed looks sleasey and hagel looks to 'oldtime' suntanned....

    July 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  3. EX-Obama Supporter Independent

    Obama obviously isn't very concerned with his potential democratic constituents. His movement to the center has been awkward and pretty stupid. Caving on NAFTA and FISA is simply unforgiveable. Now he further insults his democratic supporters by alligning himself with Hagel. I still think he'll win but i think i'll lose my bet that it will be a landslide victory. He's lost my vote and I am no snowflake. Others will abandon him as well. BOB BARR, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO TRULY ENTER THIS RACE! We need a candidate that will repair our adherence to the Constitution of the United States and also someone who will overhaul our economy.

    July 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Robb from Sharon, PA

    Why not? Personally I want whats best for the country and if a bipartisan ticket offers that then you have to ask yourself what is more important....improving our country or voting on party lines? McCain and Obamas VP picks might help sway my vote otherwise I'll be going with Barr on the Libertarian ticket. I would be interested in listening to what a bipartisan ticket has to offer.

    July 11, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  5. jon,philadelphia

    Chuck Hagel is one of the few honorable Republicans I can think of. He's smart and would make a great addition to my choice for president. They did it years ago, why not again?

    July 11, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. mariah storm

    a better idea????? pick cheney!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. Kat, Huntington, West Virginia

    well, I hope he picks someone with some foreign policy experience because he is already backing out of all that pretty talk about getting out of Iraq right away and moving so quietly to the middle. Hummm, wonder where he got that idea? Hillary!!!!! You all bought his line of crap now live with it, a Rep. for VP yep, that's change alright. Just what we need a republican anywhere NEAR the white house. If he hopes to have a chance he'll pick the only person for the job, HIllary. And all you naive obama supporters get ready to find out what your guy is made of, hopefully it is something more substantial than those nice speeches!!

    July 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. JBS

    Senator Obama, I think it is a great idea to include Mr. Chuck Hagel in Your Administration as one of the top 5 positions BUT NOT as VP this will create a backlash in the Democratic and Many Independents. Don’t think for a moment that Republican will vote for you because you picked Mr. Hagel as your VP. Republican are like Religious Fanatics they talk a good game and pray a lot but they don’t change their strips.
    Obama-Hillary 2008 Most Republican are hoping you don’t pick her.

    July 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. SD

    If Obama choses a Republican, Denver can and most probably will put Hillary back in the picture.

    July 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  10. SmoothDaddyG

    At of all these Democrates, the best person Obama could find for his VP is a Republican!! Hagel is not the VP people.

    July 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Jim

    No Republican would be on the Democratic ticket. Once he's on the ticket he's abandoned his party and is worth his weight in air. He's a worthless turncoat, of no use to either party.

    July 11, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Gimme A Break

    No matter what Obama does you opposers will find a way to spin it into a negative.

    The fact that Obama is barely leading McCain even though the Iraq war, and Republicans have a 80% disapproval rating shows the racism.

    July 11, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  13. Pinky

    A right wing Republican for BP, now I know I'll not vote for Obama!!!!

    July 11, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  14. REPLACE DEMS IN CONGRESS!

    Barack Hussein Obama and his artificial idealism is the most dangerous thing that could happen to this Country.

    THIS JERK WILL VACATION OVERSEAS AND COME BACK TO "BOAST" OF ALL HIS "FOREIGN" EXPERIENCE! HE IS A JOKE. HE CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

    Jesse Jackson has it right and black people who know the experience know what Obama is. Congress needs to get over their very severe case of Bush Derangement Syndrome and move on.

    This is the least productive Congress since I don't know when - instead of trying everything under the sun to Get Bush - why don't they try working on the energy crisis, the subprime mortgage fallout and all of the other issues that are affecting Americans?

    Vote for John McCain in 2008.

    July 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. Bartleby

    Obama/Hagel '08....?

    Uh...NO.

    I'm all for bi-partisanship, but that's ridiculous.

    Why does the media love to just report groundless speculation?

    July 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  16. P U M A 4 H I L L

    simply disappointing how dumb Americans really are.

    Obama was put up by the old establishment as a puppet. Sold to us with the media's help (all marketing).

    And the youth and gullible Americans wanting "change" took it hook, line and sinker. He is the old government idiots. He is no different. The only reason he needs to flip flop so much is because he is being told what to say and when to say but he's resisting and playing them too. He's the same story of Milli Vanilli.

    PUMA PAC – don't let this happen. YOU CAN'T WRITE HILLARY'S NAME IN, IT WON'T HELP. You have to vote McCain if you want her to win in 2012.

    July 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  17. sparky

    Donna:

    And we should care if you vote for Nader because...

    July 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. ch

    And more trash from the loony, Clinton-hating loopy Obama dolts will follow:

    July 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. Concerned Citizen of America 08

    I have a lot of respect for Sen Obama. He is different in his approach to doing things and it's refreshing to see. Rather than listen to all the pundantry, he is going to Iraq to see for himself which will help him make a much more informed on the issues of Iraq and will help him make better decisions on Iraq when he is our next President. As for Chuck Hagel being a prospective VP nominee, nope..I'd rather see Hillary as VP. Chuck Hagel is correct about Iraq, but unfortunately, that is the only thing I like about his politics. Obama is smart to take him along. Get the real Republican perspective on what is going on over there.

    July 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. Janny

    THAT would be the last nail in the coffin. If it does I hope all Hillary supporters write her name in and she goes after the presidency with a vengeance.

    July 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  21. iwannatalk2

    Well great minds think alike, I guess. I had thought that Obama would consider putting a Republican on the ticket. It makes sense. If all of you anti Obama & Anti McCains put 2 thoughts into your empty heads instead of just hating these guys you'd think of it as well. I really feel as if the nation has become so polarized by these 2 parties that they need to begin to put 1 of each on presidential election tickets. There needs to be a more common ground found between the 2 parties, and that can only happen when folks start getting TOGETHER and not just backing into their separate corners of the ring. I wish that McCain were more of his own man and could actually put a woman on the republican ticket. People need to think OUTSIDE OF THE BOX! On BOTH sides! But they wont because republicans are mostly men and old fashioned women who want men to keep all of the control. They will never put a woman on the ballot because what if McCain keels over- then what?! A woman would be in charge. That can never happen in Republican Man world. And all of these people talking about experience...well it does count for a something, but it doesnt count for everything. Sometimes you need someone who hasnt been doing things the same old way for the last 50 years to take a crack at it. No one can ever be experienced at being the President of the US. The world changes every day, and so the job changes everyday. I just wish that these parties would try to talk and resolve differences, because I am so fed up with all of the partisan bickering.

    July 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  22. Patrick

    I'm sure all of his disciples will really love to hear this.

    July 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse NY

    MarthaK, at this point Obama is just a politician. He's not President, he's not even officially the Democratic nominee. JFK and Reagan spoke at the Brandenburg Gate when they were President. How big must Obama's ego be? The Brandenburg Gate is like our Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument. How inapproprite would it be for someone campaigning to be Chancelor of Germany to give a campaign speach at the Washington Monument? Answer, it would be ludicrous. By the way, the current Chancelor doesn't want him. So on his first foreign trip as PRESUPTIVE nominee, he antagonizes a major friend. Nice. Way to establish some foreign policy credentials, which he totally lacks. As far as picking Hagel, he's a Rep. in name only. But he would provide some much needed adult supervision to junior.

    July 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. txgal44

    Get ready world coz here he comes!! I love you Barack Obama!!

    BARACK THE VOTE PEOPLE!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. Mauri

    Senator Obama makes fun of English-speaking Americans who do not speak a second language. What is his foreign language?

    July 11, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
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