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. Disbelief

    Great way to throw away an election. Does this guy have any idea what it means to stick to your principles and not try to play both sides of every issue? Can anyone say write-in candidate...

    July 11, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. Shawn

    The funny thing is Hagel has voted for more of Bush's policies than McCain has...

    July 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  3. Shawn, Lincoln, NE

    Senator Hagel seems to be a logical choice if what Obama says about moving past partisan politics is indeed true. He is as qualified as any possible Democrat being considered to date He served at the same time as McCain in Vietnam and can still think for himself. Its too bad that McCain is being spoonfed his lines as I have a lot of respect for him and his past efforts to be bi-partisan or a maverick as some put it. It would negate any advantage that McCain could claim as war hero or conservative and turn many so-called red states purple where all of America should be. Question though? Would Hagel have to change party affiliation to accept VP nomination? Anyone know the answer to that?

    July 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  4. Mcphibbit03

    This is the problem that is tearing this country...too much individualism when it comes to key issues that we face together as humans. It isn't all about you, Obama, McCain or anyone. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY. If you are TOO ignorant to see that the economy, the school system, jobs, homes are top issues we face in this trying time...DON'T VOTE. Obama happens to be a top grad at Harvard, and he knows more about what is realistic when it comes to politics than most of you ignorant peasants. McCain is more tolerable than the idiot that thinks humans and fish can coexist in the same environment.

    A great leader is never far left or far right...he/she must know how to find balalce.

    Instead or worrying about a Dem or a Rep in office, why won't we worry about the rest of the world that is raping us in oil prices? That don't have a divorce rate of 55%?

    Bottom line is this...everything offends someone, so put aside you...and come together so that we can once again live in a country where we know that our gov't is capable.

    July 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. Common Sense

    There is evidently going to be a lot of focus on who Barack will name has his partner in this illustrious Dem ticket. I admire Chuck Hagel on his experience in foreign policy and would consider him or Joe Biden as my top two picks in regards to politicians who are essential for Obama to have onboard in hopes of sorting the foreign debacle we currently have in Iraq....

    Keep in mind that even tho a "bi-partisan" ticket looks phenomenal on paper, Hagel is still a Republican. Besides foreign policy, a lot of his moral and economic stances favor the right-wing. I know this is a stretch but what if Obama becomes seriously ill and unable to perform his duties? The reigns go to a Republican who could shift the "change" America wants back the other way...

    July 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. Humphrey from Chicago, Il

    Its weird, a dynamic black guy with little experience which is his strength, will choose an older white guy for vice-president for his weaknesses. Genius!

    July 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Mcphibbit03

    This is the problem that is tearing this country…too much individualism when it comes to key issues that we face together as humans. It isn't all about you, Obama, McCain or anyone. THIS IS ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY. If you are TOO ignorant to see that the economy, the school system, jobs, homes are top issues we face in this trying time…DON'T VOTE. Obama happens to be a top grad at Harvard, and he knows more about what is realistic when it comes to politics than most of you ignorant peasants. McCain is more tolerable than the idiot that thinks humans and fish can coexist in the same environment.

    A great leader is never far left or far right…he/she must know how to find balance.

    Instead or worrying about a Dem or a Rep in office, why won't we worry about the rest of the world that is raping us in oil prices? That don't have a divorce rate of 55%?

    Bottom line is this…everything offends someone, so put aside you…and come together so that we can once again live in a country where we know that our gov't is capable.

    July 11, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  8. Pete

    The Change-Train just keeps chugging along.

    July 11, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. gary

    MIKE YOUR 100% THAT SWIFTBOATED THE BEST CANIDATE OUT OF THE RACE. AMERICA GETS WHAT THEY ASK FOR.

    July 11, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. baljeet

    Mr flip flop will explain his iraq position in iraq.

    July 11, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. Giovanna

    I admire Hagel, but he differs from Obama on many domestic issues. Wouldn't that be a problem?

    July 11, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  12. Been there seen it Brought the T-Shirt

    Sen Obama is very charismatic. However charisma is not everything, in my experiance you should not trust very charismatic people. As for change, well change for the sake of change will lead to disaster. In my line of work you must beable to read people and Obama is sending me all the wrong signals. One trip will not fix his foreign policy problems. He will not need much in the way of security, if any of you can read Arabic check out Islamic terrorist web site to find out why.

    July 11, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. Serge

    excuse me! McCain is the one who can't think off his feet. When he was asked by Dana bash why women's Birth controls aren't covered by Healthcare but insurance co. covered Viagra which McShame is probably a user of. McCain is out of touch and can't even run his own campaign. it seems they have a new head of his campaign every week. Once this trip is over and Senator Obama solidifies his Foreign Policy credentials, then we can make the REAL changes needed to effectively get this country running again.

    July 11, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. S King

    A smart move, turn down a June Bride dream ticket, for a nightnare in November,

    WHAT A CROCK

    S KIng
    Sonora, KY.

    July 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  15. In Colorado

    Is Obama nuts considering putting a Republican on the ticket with him?????????????????
    He seems bound & determined to shoot himself in the foot & lose this election.

    July 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. Republican for Obama

    My vote goes to obama regardless what occurs, Americans do not deserve to get lied and cheated again by selfish individuals such as george bush and now john mccain

    Obama 08

    July 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  17. Dude

    Donna,

    You are such a hypocrite. You say "Stop the Hating" but then you go on to bash several people. Typical liberal hypocrisy and ignorance. I guess I'm just "hating"...but at least I'm honest about it.

    I am a Republican-leaning Independent, but I will probably vote for Obama. He doesn't have the experience and is a bit superficial, but I think he can give the country a JFK-like shot of energy that we need right now. I also think we need a strong black leader that is not a cartoon like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton and Obama will help with race relations....and I'm a white dude.

    Also I can not stand that lying self-serving Gore, but he seems real popular with the left-wing and some otherwise intelligent people. Wouldn't he be a good Obama VP choice due to his popularity?

    July 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. Prebi4Obama

    Smart man Obama mix everything up and unite the nation. Dem or Rep i don't care bring peace back to US of A.

    July 11, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  19. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Forgot to add #10 to the list if my comments that are still in the limbo of moderation. Why is it that actual facts are not worthy of moderation CNN? I'm not using foul language, etc., etc. What is the problem?

    Anyhow, in case this actually gets posted:

    #10 to the things McCain or his camp have said or done this week – add the fact that McCain said that the Vietnam War was winnable, we just lost the will to fight. (So what great reason were we fighting for there in the first place? As if to say that war is a game of tactical moves separated from the morality of waging war in the first place...........)

    July 11, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Rick FL

    It's smart for Obama to travel to Iraq with two respected veterans. I've often thought Hagel could be an appealing VP for Obama. It coincides with Obama's message of unity and political transcendence.

    Reed is another great consideration along with many Democratic & Indepedent candidates [Biden, Kaine, Clinton (or Supreme Court Justice), Bloomberg, Sebelius, Bayh, Clark, etc.]. I trust Obama will make a wise choice for VP and fill his cabinet with members of all political backgrounds.

    Si se puede!

    July 11, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  21. Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death

    I find it disheartening so many Obama supporters give Senator McCain a hard time for his age. Come on, folks, practice what you preach. If you really are leading a movement for change, act like it.

    Agism, racism, and the like really don't have much of a place in American politics anymore.

    July 11, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  22. adm

    LOL!!! FactCheck you are so right on target. After I read NFIL Knoxville comment, I knew it was Brian from Knoxville, Tn.

    Brian you can change your name all you want but we know your rhetoric. It's easy to spot.

    July 11, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  23. gregg

    wow. the whole wide world in love with obama,,, step aside and in line for your tattoo on your forehead,,, the antichrist is awake and in line to run the world,,, wake up.. and smell the sulfer,,,, and i am not into static religion,,, who cares what a canadian, french, chinese,, and all the other nations, who speak of obama as the second coming.... think? denver awaits,, come to the light ,,, and ,

    July 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. john williams san diego, ca.

    Please take Chuckie Hagel...he didn't run for Congress again because he had NO chance of winning in a Republican district..this guy like Osama is badly over rated.

    July 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  25. c span watcher

    As an Independent... (thinking and otherwise).

    I might be tempted to vote for NoBama if he had Chuck Hagel as VP.

    HAGEL ROCKS. HE'S A NO BS, STAND-UP GUY.

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