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. JWC

    The great thing about keeping a Republican in office, is that you never have to admit you're wrong, (alway handy!), and if you're never WRONG, you NEVER have to correct your mistakes.
    Like a war that was a lie.
    Which is why we are in debt up to our armpits to China and Japan, our 'loan partners' for the war, and why you will never see the trade deficit between the U.S. ever be addressed. We simply owe China too much money to worry about unemployed U.S. citizens.
    The march of freedom has price after all.

    July 11, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Smart Bipartisanship

    Go ahead and bash them all you want, Senator Reed is one of the most respected senators in Washington when it comes to foreign policy matters, and Hagel is respected by many democrats for his strong words against the Bush doctrine of foreign policy. This is a wise move, and he's actually going overseas with people of the opposing party, but I'm sure Republicans will still find something negative about this trip.

    July 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. xddy4u

    This is all MEDIA speculation. Obama is working on his first 100 days in office. Smart men pave the way, while foolish men waits on chance.
    Tell me, when have any foriegn country ever wanted our Presidential nominee of any party come and hold a rally in their country? NEVER. But Great Britain, France, Isreal and Germany to name a few, want to attend just one Obama rally. While some in this country has nothing but negetive things to say of him. Yes, Gramm was right, we are a nation of whinners, wanting everything at our finger tips. Go Obama, the world is waiting for you.

    July 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. Deb n Texas

    I am a republican who voted for Obama in the primary and will vote for him in the general. All of you poor, stupid, primitive and undereducated democrats who are voting for McCain because Hillary did win – go right away, you are the people who can't afford to fill up you gas tank; can't afford to go on vacation, and can't afford another 4 or 8 years of another Republican. Please go on ahead and we will see you eating dirt out of your yard – if you have a yard at the end of the term. Good luck!

    July 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. not important

    And because of the war in Iraq communist China is strong. Yeah thanks alot George W. Bush. USA is in debt to communist China. Why did Bush had to get money from China to fund the Iraq war? Why not Japan and South Korea? No the smart guy picked China.

    July 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Illiniois Dem-Libral

    Obama names a republican as VP and he will lose my vote. Make Sec of State or another cabnit position, but not VP. This is going to far. Hilliary we may need a true Democrate to run for President.

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

    Please stop Romney from destroying Social Security !!!

    July 11, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. marianna

    Obama/McCain '08

    or McCain/Obama 08

    Way to go!

    July 11, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Bayou Joe

    This message is for "Christina" on a previous blog. chastizing Hispanics for McCain. My Hispanic family has been in this country since we founded Fla, Texas and the other SW states, We did not come from Mexico as you might think or have been led to believe.
    We destest Socialism and Communism because these two ideologies are in contrast with our family values and our nation.

    The border fence is necessary to keep out illegal entrants. My only regret is that my ancestors did not put one across the Mississppi River and keep you Eastern Liberals out of the West.

    We are strong supporters of McCain and our Country. We will not allow our country to fall into the hands of those who are intent on destroying it. And we can sing the National Anthem in English, our children serve voluntarily in Iraq and Afghanistan, just like I did in Vietnam and my father in Korea, My grandfather in WWII and his father before him in WWI. So, yes we support the Patriot McCain and will
    get him elected.

    July 11, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Shannon

    Chuck Hagel is way to good to run with this phony guy. Has he maintained one position he had during the primary. What a sellout he is, I'm so glad I never supported this man. Hope and change, what a joke, he looks more like George Bush everyday. How could any decent person support FISA. What a shock that the candidate of change would sell everyone out. LOL

    July 11, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Erika, KS

    OMG! This is too funny. See what happens when you sell your soul (and everyone you know) to the devil just to stroke your ego so you can be President! Obama won't be able to say ANYTHING about John McCain being "too old." How stupid does Obama think we are? He's just whoring himself out so he will appeal and be loved by everyone. He's a weirdo.

    July 11, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Jon

    It is a shame that this article failed to mention that it is customary practice for these trips to be bi-partisan. This VP talk is wild speculation.

    July 11, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. Chris

    Go for it, Obama! Hagel's a good choice if you want to pick up votes.

    July 11, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Jackson

    this will be his undoing with his base

    July 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. rch

    No Republicans in the White House! Don't let these shady crooks anywhere near the White House or a position of power. America is going to be paying for their mistakes for generations!

    July 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. rexx

    Obama is not going to choose Hagel. lol. This is more BS from the Media. Only the foolish would fall for this kind of rumor.

    July 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Esther

    go back go back to the right things in this country us working together partners in everything I believe in HOPE & FREEDOM

    All the world over, so easy to see
    People everywhere just wanna be free
    Listen, please listen, that's the way it should be
    Peace in the valley, people got to be free

    You should see what a lovely, lovely world this'd be
    Everyone learns to live together
    Seems to me such an easy, easy thing should be
    Why can't you and me learn to love one another

    All the world over, so easy to see
    People everywhere just wanna be free (wanna be free)
    I can't understand it, so simple to me (it is)
    People everywhere just got to be free

    If there's a man who is down and needs a helping hand
    All it takes is you to understand and to pull him through
    Seems to me we got to solve it individually
    And I'll do unto you what you do to me

    There'll be shoutin' from the mountains on out to sea (out to sea)
    No two ways about it, people have to be free (they got to be free)
    Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be (ah-ha)
    It's a natural situation for a man to be free

    Oh, what a feelin's just come over me
    It's enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see
    Everybody's dancin' [unintelligible]
    Peace in the valley, now they want to be free

    See that train over there
    Now that's the train of freedom
    It's about to arrive any minute, now
    You know, it's been long, long overdue
    Look out 'cause it's comin' right on through [fade]

    July 11, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. marianna

    Obama/McCain '08

    or McCain/Obama 08

    Way to go!

    Back to Clinton/Clark for 2008

    July 11, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    This guy is a Genius.

    Watch the people of Germany and Canada. They will go crazy when he visits. I love those countries.

    July 11, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Richard, FL

    Barack Obama's trip to Iraq probably will accomplish more than McCain's trips have.

    McCain has taken trips to Iraq where he walked around with heavy protective gear and helmet on, surrounded by 100 heavily-armed troops, in a small market area pre-secured for the day and then announced that it was safe to walk in Baghdad.

    Obama will tell it like it really is. He couldn't do as bad as McCain.

    July 11, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. easy

    This guy is a GEnius.

    Obama .08

    July 11, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. It's the issues, Stupid

    Any Democrat who would vote for McCain is an idiot.

    And Auntie Coosa...even most of your fellow klan members have given up the "Hussein" crap. Your stupid little "H" is not in the least subtle, and you are not in the least clever.

    July 11, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I really don't see the point of going to Iraq. There's nothing going on there that can show that it was a good idea to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, that isn't harboring bin Laden, that is sucking down resources while doing nothing to improve our position in the Middle East, and that doesn't want us there in the first place.

    There's nothing left to prove in Iraq. There never was.

    July 11, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Tracy

    I don't know much about Hagel, but Obama choosing a republican VP that shares the same goals would be genius. Not just for winning but for
    actual unity. To mama4obama, you are absolutely right:

    Bring different teams together works in the corporate world and will work in government.

    This is EXACTLY what we need.

    Obama '08, '12

    July 11, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. David Russo

    Barck O bama will lose without a question if he chose Cuck Hagel. This would be a really stupid choice. Who the hell knows Cuck Hagel?

    July 11, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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