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. mama4obama

    Everyday I go to work and everyday I work with someone who is part of another team. We accomplish much more when we cross lines and make things happen as a team. I really dont care who Obama chooses to be his VP...as long as that person has integrity and the ability to return this country to greatness.

    OBAMA 08 -and beyond

    July 11, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. FactCheck

    > Knoxville NFIL

    Oh lookie... it's Brian the Republican plant from Tennessee. What's the matter Brian, did someone steal your lunch money? Have another cookie.

    July 11, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Carole/independent

    So, now Obama is for the death penalty–if I had not heard differently, I would describe him as a far right republican! He is now stealing the republican platform. Me thinks he will do a turnaround on taxes and women's rights before this is over. Are you listening, Rush? I think he has become a closet Rush fan! When are we going to drill, Barrack? No one cares if you go against the left dummies like Pelosi, Dean, Brazille-we will vote for you anyway–you are our Saviour!

    July 11, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Christian

    Okay. So far it's nothing but negative comments about Obama so I'll add one positive one.

    HE'S LEADING McCAIN by 8 PERCENT and set to outspend him 4 to 1.

    Somehow when you look at it that way, 1 positve beats 3 negatives.

    Obama/Clark 08

    July 11, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. discerner

    The far left President and a right wing VP.

    July 11, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. K.

    Hey Marc PDX,

    McCain needs a copy of "The Iraq War for Dummies" much more than Obama does....McCain can't even remember the difference between Sunni & Shia!

    July 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Chris Spring, TX

    If Obama Puts Hagel on the ticket, he will look more conservative than John McCain. Then alot of conservatives would back this ticket because of their frustration of McCain.

    Obama/Hagel 2008

    July 11, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    I doubt there will be anything else for them to suggest when they come back. Bush is way ahead of the new plan and McCain will be given the priviledge to complete the mission. Sorry too late.. as always. Democrats need a real shake up. They always seem to dwell in late reaction to issues of national importance. Get rid of Pelosi.

    July 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Janet Rigel

    Obama is not afraid to reach across party lines!
    Bush= The Great Divider
    Obama= The Great Uniter

    July 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. KM

    Obama needs to go and he also needs to keep plans quiet for security reasons. Having the other two senators along should help. Best wishes to all who go over with a goal of easing tensions.

    July 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Lesley

    Sounds like a good match but wasn't Hagel a lobbyist in his earlier career? That may give fodder to the Republicans and left wing Democrats and not bode well for a ticket for change.

    July 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Kiki

    Obama will drop out of going to Iraq and give one if his I Have A Dream Speeches to get out of it!!!!

    July 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Jimbo

    Marc: I'm guessing McBush is the one who needs that book, consider Obama had the judgment to oppose this foolish war and not McBush.

    July 11, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. DJ, LA, CA

    Reed sounds good...I don't know about Hagel making much sense. Hagel would be a better choice for cabinet position instead.

    July 11, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Isaac

    More like what is needed, Bipartizan work & get togethers.

    July 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. MD

    Jack Reed is one of the most respectable Senators on the Hill. As an Obama Supporter, I would be ecstatic if Reed was VP. He has the same amount of Biden (who is a pop VP choice) without the speak first, think later attitude. Both of these men have enormous things to offer as VP, but I'm not too sure Hagel is close enough on the issues to be a VP choice.

    July 11, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    OBAMA/HAGEL or OBAMA/REED, either way we have more than qualified winners.

    July 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Tom

    As a Democrat for life, I cannot vote for a candidate whose dearest friends are a vile, America hating, race baiting, militant fundamentalist (i.e., Jeremiah Wright), a committed America hating terrorist (i.e., William Ayers) and a virulent America hating extremist (i.e., Michelle Obama). McCain and America all the way in 2008!

    July 11, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    I really like Hagel, but he is Republican and not Pro Choice. If something happened to Obama, would we really want another Republican next in line? There are so many good Dems to choose from and I'm still hoping for Biden. Mark PDX, Brian from Knoxville, Puma's – since you guys hate Obama so much, why do you keep reading and posting on positive Obama stories? Your hatred is really getting tiresome, and you spew the same crap over and over. Why don't you go send Hillary some $$ to help her out, or better yet, go take an anger management course to get over your hate. I pity you people.

    July 11, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Benjamin McMahon

    Republican and their flip – flop tags, getting old. Just like the dinosaur they nominated as president.

    July 11, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. plb

    I cant help but to sit back and laugh at many of the comments that get posted by many of the "Haters" out there. Believe me Obama can't make this country ANY worse that what the H- you people choose to run this country into the ground over the last seven years. Although I think Grahm is noting more then a forgien currency loving old man who yells at cloud, and Mcsame is joined to his hip, he made a valid point, this country is in such a sorry state that we cant even compete with Mexico. If you want to become a third world country, keep voting the way you been voting. Hell, China own this country and Mexico will continue their reconsitution without ever firing ONE SHOT.

    July 11, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Love it

    Obama knows how to get the media and the Amerian public excited!! This is the kind of President we need for America.

    July 11, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. Bayou Joe

    What is he going to do, talk to Al-Qaeda in Iraq and ask them what they want? Maybe he can go to Iran and speak to Ima nut job and see if he is willing to recognize Israel and not go into Iraq after we pull our troops out.

    My son is in Iraq and he doesn't want these politicians there, pandering for votes. What they want is more ammunition and clear direction from Washington that they will not be prosecuted for doing their job and staying alive. Let or sons and daughters win the war and then bring them home with honor.

    July 11, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  24. Donna

    Marc..."Iraq War for Dummies"?? Is Bush's picture in there?? Does it come in audio for geriatric MCCAIN?

    Stop hating so much..it's bad for you complexion!!!!!

    Frank....yeah, a Presidential Candidate will go to a WAR ZONE alone...please think before you type!!! Did McOld go by himself

    so many HATERS..so little time!!! HAHA

    July 11, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. Mark Anthony - Lake Elsinore, CA

    To those who would just love to see Obama fail. Is it because he not your candidate of choice or is it just you can't stand the fact the a newcommer is making a difference in the world?

    People are tired of the same ole crap, it's time for change and he's the man to do it.

    July 11, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
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