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. Chris Spring, TX

    Hey Republicans! I want to propose a trade.

    Democrats Take Hagel
    Republicans Take Loserman

    July 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. jack phoenix

    Obama/Hagel and McCain/Lieberman that would be a combination. could go either way.

    July 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. mitchell martin

    Just because he will go to these countries for a few days does not mean that he will come back with vast foreign policy experience. McCain already has foreign policy experience because he has been doing this for years. Try again Osama!

    July 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. sad...

    I will be quite impressed if Senator Obama chooses an intelligent Republican for his VP. This would further prove that he is willing to go beyond party lines for the good of the country.

    Obama '08

    July 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA

    Sen. Barack H Obama has to take someone with him who can think on his feet because Sen. Obama has a reputation for not being able to give off the cuff statements, answers, or ask appropriate questions.

    Sen. Obama is trying to court Republican votes and that's why he's not going with two Democrats. Don't be deceived by Politics.

    July 11, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Chuck, Democrats United We Stand

    Why is it so important to pin down a date as to when Obama will visit Iraq or Afganistan? DO you have any idea as to the target you would be putting on his back in publishing such information? Granted there does exist the freedom of press but not at the potential expense of a presidential candidate! Give this information a wide birth will you! In fact why is a presidential candidates trips with exact times and dates so important to publish when going overseas? Think about this will you; you know, terrorism still exist!

    July 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Another reason to stay home in November.

    July 11, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    Donna – this is probably the most important presidential race in which you will have the privilege to vote. You can vote for Nader – it is your right – but even he knows he has no chance of winning. Vote for McCain, if you must, but either he or Obama will be President. This isn't the time to "make a statement" when everywhere you turn, our country is in crisis. We seriously need a strong leader who will take the US and the world in a positive direction.

    July 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Mike

    Maybe in 2012 we will have a dem that has some experience to vote for. Alot of dems like myself are going with McCain this time. This country needs an experience leader and McCain has it. No Way to Obama....

    July 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. BIFF HUSSEIN BIFFINGTON

    Remember guys...

    No matter what Obama says, No matter what Obama does....

    Whether he is 'for' an issue that is typically republican.....

    Whether he is 'against' an issue that is typically republican.....

    WHATEVER POSITION HE TAKES............................

    HE WILL BE ATTACKED FOR IT.................................

    INCESSANTLY !

    ( he was attacked because he has not been to Iraq for a long time... now he will be attacked because he's 'going')

    he will be attacked for waking up in the morning.....

    he will be attacked for going to sleep at night.......

    (some strategy, huh?)

    it's just what you do when you can't run on your own record.......

    economy ....................... nope
    job creation...................nope
    energy............................nope
    housing.........................nope
    THE WAR......................NOPE
    family values................HA! please...

    if you could actually run on taking care of big business, these guys would win by a landslide.....

    July 11, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Real person for Obama.

    I was reading through blogs and I find something disturbing, when people have to bashed Obama even if the ticker said good things about him.

    I know for some people who hate a candidate have to criticize the candidate, but not that far.

    You don't have to blog if you got nothing to say you know. Because you hate someone doesn't mean you have to bashed that person even if it is happy time.

    I guess most Obama haters would have prefer those ugly words from Mccain camp should have been Obama's camp.

    That is how much i think those people actually hate this guy and because you hate Obama thus mean you have no issues you want the candidate to address.
    If you have issues that interest you , you would have lean on the candidate that promotes your issues that matters to you.
    If you like killing people, wars and someone who have no idea how to grow the economy and who promote Bush policies vote for Mccain.

    Thus mean you like the way things are at the moment.

    So, these are the type of people that voted for Bush because they hate Al Gor and Hate John Kerry. Hey now I guess you have not learn from your mistakes, the person you voted for is now the worst president in the history of American.

    Please don't bashed these guys if they haven't done anything wrong. You may bash when you think they make mistakes or do something stupid.

    These candidates doesn't bash each other the way bloggers do.

    July 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Doug Roberts

    Chuck Hagel has shown in so many ways that he is intelligent, thoughtful and trustworthy. As a Canadian, I have no preferenced for party lines but I certainly do care about who is going to lead the next U.S. government. Obama/Hagel is a winner for me.

    July 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Adam

    Great this is what we really need. I thought his campaign was supposed to be about change. Not much more of the same!!

    July 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. Jeff Long

    Obama supporters are definitely a bunch of "whiners". Go get your bottle and suck on it!!!

    July 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. JWC

    Right. Pick a Republican that is so centrist even a Democrat would vote for it. (Why not just pick a democat?) Unless you're trying to sway fencesitters to your side by joining the opposition. Any Republican that would meet him halfway would be seen as a turncoat by the party, (because Republicans always stick up for each other, even it means the rest of us are left to hang,) and people might turn out just to vote against him. (Party-ism trumps the good of the counrty, at least Republican wise Gotta look out for your own...)
    Or better yet, load a pistol and shoot YOURSELF in the foot.

    July 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. Adam, Plano, TX

    I think hagel is an excellent choice for VP.

    July 11, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. SUE, Michigan

    OK, Obama chooses a Republican, McCAin a woman, and the country will be REALLY confused! I really don't see how choosing a Republican helps either ticket-and frankly, if Hillary is not on the ticket or in line for a major Cabinet post, I don't see voting at all. Obama disappointed big time with his FISA vote, and then to reverse on the death penalty? I sincerely hope the DNC who pushed this man into the spotlight is having ulcers about now! Remember, superdelegates, you will be heard at the convention. It is not too late to return to Hillary...the true Democrat in the room at this point, and not afraid to go against Bush!

    July 11, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. Peter

    As many people said above, I believe Hagel would more likely be a cabinet position, his stances on many issues is contrary to Obama's. But, important in our governmental structure is compromise, so to at least be able to work with someone like Hagel, let alone put them in a cabinet position is a great step.

    July 11, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. slickwilly

    Anything to win.....

    July 11, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. jj

    I would vote for Obama/Hagel .

    ONLY if Hagel is chosen VP, otherwise, I'll vote for a third party.

    July 11, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  21. John G

    "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"

    Right so he can call the whole thing official business and Campaign in France (need the swing vote there) on the tax payers dollar.

    July 11, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. NG in DC

    The day Obama insults half the Democatic voting block by putting a Republican on the ticket, while Hillary Clinton is dismissed is the day Obama can kiss my vote ....money ...and any support ....GOOOOOOD-BYE!

    Obama/Clinton - one right choice for unified Democrats.

    July 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  23. I miss Hillary

    Does Barack want to totally tick off the people who voted for him in the primaries by picking a Republican? Gimme a break! If he doesn't pick a liberal Democrat, we're all staying home on election day. The flip-flopping has been bad enough–this would push me over the edge.

    July 11, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. AT

    Donna relax, Hillary will never become Pre-si-dent! The Change we seek and the CHANGE military officer's like me believe in is an OBAMA-HAGEL ticket and it will HAPPEN! OBAMA kind of change is so REVOLUTIONARY only Lincoln know's about this kind of movement. Wake up and help UNITE the country. I am sure most people like Donna will never vote for OBAMA under any circumstances and using Hillary as a way out is such a lame excuse for your BIGOTRY! You most certainly would not have voted for Hillary as President you Right-wing Repub bible thumper in sheeps clothing! OBAMA-HAGEL 2008/2012 get use to saying it. YES WE CAN AND WE WILL HAVE OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT IN 08, 12, A BLK PRESIDENT FOR AMERICA AND THE WORLD!

    I am a Military Officer and I approve this message!

    July 11, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. Rave

    Go Mr. Obama and bring home some troops.. they dont need to live in those deserts, while McPain is sipping on his Pina Colada's in his wife's home
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 11, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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