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. Willow, from Iowa

    I would love to see Hagel on the ticket. But God forbid if something happened, we would be turning over the Presidency to the conservatives again. Even tho Hagel is against the war, he is still a very conservative politician.

    I don't know much about Reed.

    July 11, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Janet Rigel. Name once when Obama crossed party lines? The next time will be the first time. Stop belieing his stump speech and do some research. God gave you a brain. Try using it, and stop being a sheep.

    July 11, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Michiel W

    For those of you disenchanted with the current positions taken by Senator Obama, please remember, they may be different tomorrow. Also remember, nothing is final until the convention. He is the "presumptive" nominee. If you really want to make a difference, don't vote for John McCain, write, phone and/or email your Democratic representatives and the DNC and voice your opinion. Let them know who you would like as the nominee. Just a thought!

    July 11, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  4. Mike

    Obama is not running at all. Obama is on the prowl!

    July 11, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. LaTeef Alade, GA

    Obama is the right leader at the right time. The power behind him is from the Almighty God, not from the human, there is no better candidate running for the office of US president in this election than Obama. We all need to pray for his safety and also pray for our current president Bush and may God bless America. Good luck .

    July 11, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. Rickymo

    It is about time we have a Democrat that actually wants to win this election. Let's see, Bush is the most unpopular President ever, we are a war we can't win and shouldn't even be in and the economy is tanking because of 8 years of incompetency and greed. And all they can muster up is Mc Cain? Pity...

    July 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  7. Michigan for Obama

    If Obama picks Hagel, it just shows that he means what he's said all along-that he wants to bring the country together. It's time to stop the gridlock, stop the partisan game-playing, and get to work. Some of you may be happy with how things have gone over the past 8 years, but frankly I'm sick of it. If our Senators and Congressmen, not to mention the President and Vice, had job evaluations every year like many of us do, most would have been fired.

    July 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Lynn, Florida

    If he picks a republican I will not vote for him. I will just not vote! Hillary Clinton should have been the nominee she would have picked a democrat as a VP.

    July 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. Hate to break it to you!

    Can't wait until he goes. It doesn't matter if it's setup to look good or bad in Iraq. Obama is still going to pull the troops out. The truth of the matter, because they are trying to keep him safe, there will be some places he can't go or see, but then again, you also have to remember that things that may go on, may not be going on at the time he's there. I don't know much about Hagel, but if Obama chooses him, that's fine. I'm still an Obama supporter.

    Obama 08

    July 11, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. Tina

    I don't know if it's worth expressing my opinion. I'm amazed of how these politicians work. It's Me first, me 2nd, and always Me.

    But I'm even more amazed in the way some of us can go crazy for them.

    Politicians are public servers who should be responsible for the best interest of every citizen. They are elected by the people and paid by the people. When people have low performance at their job, most of them, get fired. And when others perfomn beyond their duties, should get rewarded. It's a matter of dignity and integrity.

    Let's be real and things will really change for the best interest of all.


    July 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |

    Iraq war for dummies? There shouldn't even be an Iraq war for starters!

    July 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. whitey4obama

    auntie coosa, your boy mccain is sure capable of giving "off the cuff statements"; just check out youtube. i am sure he would give anything to be able to wipe out all of those off the cuff statements and answers, as would his campaign managers 🙂 what a joke!!

    July 11, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Annette

    Has anyone else heard about the HUGE gaff McCain made??

    He forgot his own story about which football team he told about while he was a POW. He used the Packers in his book yet while he was in Pittsburgh he said it was the Steelers.

    Why aren't we talking about this. MSNBC was all over it earlier but I can't find anything here about it.

    Someone needs to call him on this one I think. Either he is really getting forgetful or is he just using this as he thinks it will get him the most votes. Maybe next week it will be the Texans when he is in Houston, or the Cowboys when he is in Dallas.

    July 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  14. Donald from SC

    I guess hoping for a better America is too much?

    I am voting for McCain because it guarantees that I will be skewed.

    Voting for Obama is like believing that America could actually get better.

    I don'r need better, I need same-old same-old in the comfort zone.

    July 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. C

    So he is going to fly all over the world and visit foriegn countries to gain foreign policy credentials. And a few days in each country is going to accomplish this?? Who's footing this bill?
    Now he decides to beef up his foreign policy knowledge?!?!??
    All this man does is surround himself with people that know what they are doing. What do they need him for. I am sure someone else can say the speeches just as fluently.
    I thought he had all this foriegn knowledge from when he was in Africa when he was 8.
    Unbelieveable. Who's running independent? McCain is looking better and better everytime Barrack flip-flops. When is he going to debate McCain?

    July 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. easy

    obam hagal 08

    July 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. Hispanic For McCain

    I feel sorry for all these MORONS on this Blog, already talking bad about the Latinos (Hispanic ) people. You know WHAT shame on all these MORONS get a life. Just to make a point to all the Morons Puertorican, Mexican, Dominican, Colombian, and the rest of the Latinos in the United States are American the one that are here legally, and the ones that are here illegally give them a break there are here to make a better life for them. I don't see OBAMA having ADS giving the Hispanic credits when they serve this Great County of ours yes OURS. So all you Bozos don't hate because Latinos are going to choose a proven winner and that is John McCain. So stop hating!!!! let's see how well informed you morons react to bias like some other ethnic group. The hispanic people are well informed and we know that OBAMA is fake, a fruad, a Flip Flop and you all act like BUSH. So suck it up and drive on cause Hispanic will decide this election and that will be for John McCain.

    Hispanic for McCain!!!!

    July 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |

    Helloooooooooooooooo, Is it that AN AA is about to become the most powerful man in the World!!!!!!!!!!!!! Think about I'm waiting on Jesus to come back . That will be my King!

    July 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  19. Thomas

    CNN... c'mon.

    Update: "Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama had lunch today with a Republican, further fueling speculation that he might pick a Republican as a running mate."

    The only "speculation" occurring here is from CNN. This is too ridiculous to even posit as a serious possibility.

    July 11, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  20. Paula Lacey

    Obama is so smart. He knows how to get things done, but most of all he has common sense and a high IQ. He is a people person and can get us energized and working. When he talks, people listen, not yawn and go to sleep. He can tell a joke. He is likeable and is not grumpy.

    July 11, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  21. Hispanic For McCain

    Norma July 11th, 2008 6:40 pm ET

    Marc PDX

    The Iraq War for Dummmies yeah Bush wrote the book!!
    The biggest Dope we had as a president.

    You go Obama!!

    Norma you really are a Joke!!! Don't hate!!!! you are the biggest DOPE!!!

    You go McCain

    Hispanic people for McCain!!!

    July 11, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  22. Paul


    July 11, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  23. Tyler in Raleigh

    If Obama wants a Republican, why doesn't he pick Clinton after all?

    I think either of these two would be a better choice than Clinton, but is Hagel really the best we can do?

    July 11, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. Tim C

    Obama doesn't need a republican to get elected. Does anyone really believe that the majority of the electoral votes are going to go for McSame? Prediction: Obama wins 300 electoral votes

    July 11, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. The Eagle

    I think picking the best person to help change up the status quo is a fantastic idea. Let's try picking two of the best Americans we can.
    Sending the message that a VP can be from any party organized or not would be a great start.
    Who is the best person you can think of?

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