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. Thanh

    I predicted that he would migrate to the center if he won when he was up against Hillary during the primaries. I supported her because she was already there at the center.

    For real progress both parties must work together. Putting Hagel on the ticket would be great and would be a great start to validating the promise of true unity. A good leader needs to think out of the box, and many times you need advice from unexpected sources.

    July 11, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Linda from DC

    Wow, all of these republican haters online

    July 11, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. Don Fitzgerald

    Either one of these Senators would be a winner, Senator Reed or Senator Hagel !! I would like to see Senator Stabenow, D-Michigan, as Senator Obama's running mate. She would make an excellent Vice-President and she is a fighter for the working American. Whoever Senator Obama chooses, he will make a well-informed and realistic choice.

    July 11, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  4. Bush-Wacked!

    Hagel might be just what we need now. Balance in the White House. Opposing points of view to get at the best and most balanced solution to our problems.

    As for the Hillarites that want to vote for Nadar, McSame, Hitler, Stalin or whatever, I guess their only criteria for choosing a candidate is that they wear the same pant suite. God knows it has nothing to do with the similarity of their positions and experience!

    July 11, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. PCS / North Carolina

    not important July 11th, 2008 6:37 pm ET

    "I really do hope that Iraq will not be another South Vietnam."

    Yeah, Iraq is Vietnam = Quagmire

    July 11, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    JEEBUS!!! give it a rest. the man cannot even shake someones hand and the next thing you know, everyone asks, "is that his VP pick".

    July 11, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. Steve

    Get me some popcorn the show is about to start. I love this

    Obama 08

    July 11, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Edith Arkansas

    I don't know if a Republican on the VP ticket is a good idea but it is up to Presential Elect Barack Obama to choose his running mate. In view of the fact many factors need to be taken under consideration to choose a VP, therefore it is wrong and unfair for the Hillary Clinton suppoters to take this strong-arm attitude and dictatorial attitude to say they will vote for McCain if Obama do not choose Clinton as VP. Who do these people think they are dictating to a Presidental candidate that way I expect to hear that kind of talk coming from third world dictators, not from americans the land of the free where freedom of speech and choice is what this country was founded on. What a selfish position to take. Is this what an elitist look like or is it plain ignorance. Shame on them.

    The gentelman on th ireport that made the comment that the only change he ever seen a black person do is hold a change cup is all of the above: racist, ignorant, arrogant, mean, bigotry, degrading himself, redneck who thinks himself is better than black people the truth of the matter is he has fallen to the lowest common denominater and is truly in need of the great God. Shame on him. The lady also on iReport who said she is democrat and has switched to Republican because she believe Obama is a muslim no doubts a liar, its the other reason a closet racist because Obama is not a Muslim and she darn well knows it. She just needs an excuse not to vote for him because he is black. May God have mercy on her lying sole. Shame on her.

    July 11, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. DJ in TX

    Senator Hagel would be a good choice for Senator Obama. He'll be able to get 1st hand information on what the Republican (not necessarily the conservatives) agenda is. A lot of things can get done when both sides work together and compromise. When both sides want it their way or no way, we get what we have now, which is NOTHING.

    July 11, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. hahahahahahahahahaha

    If he wants to win he gotta pick CLinton even though he does not like her

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

    Go Sen Obama! We are happy for you.

    July 11, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. bill for barack

    The idea is to pick the BEST person for the job that is literally only a heartbeat away from the presidency. I trust that Barack will once again put what's best for the nation ahead of the partisan politics of John McSame.

    July 11, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. dennis from chicago

    when he gets back o bama can say he now has military experience....did one tour in iraq.... the green zone..... use people all you can.... what is your carbon trail while your at it////

    July 11, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Eccles

    @ Mike

    What exactly does McCain have for experience? He was a POW, not a commander.

    Wise move on Obama's part. Hagel isn't a bad guy.

    July 11, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. KJ

    Obama/Hagel? LOL

    How about McCain/Hillary, Now, THAT's a winning ticket!

    Nobama, ever. No matter who's on the ticket, Obama remains unqualified to be President of the U.S.

    Come on superdelegates, it's not too late to vote for Hillary at the ACTUAL DNC convention in late August in Denver. Hillary remains the most qualified and most electable candidate. Hillary already won the popular vote, winning more votes than ANY candidate of ANY party in history! Let's give some credit where much credit is due media!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Barack would be a major mistake

    Hagel and McCain has probably forgotten more about how to deal with foreign affairs than Barack knows with his community organizing experience. He is a major joke.

    July 11, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Frank, San Francisco

    How far right is Obama going to move– Look at Hagel's positions on issues other than Iraq. McCain is more liberal than Hagel?
    Boy, Obama is becoming more of a disappointment every day.

    July 11, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Lisa

    The only Obama supporter I like is the Obama supporter from FL. The rest of you are a bunch of cult members.

    July 11, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |

    Everyone but Dick Cheney and George Bush is going to win with an Obama / Hagel ticket.

    July 11, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |

    EX-Obama Supporter Independent;
    While I am disappointed at your choosing to no longer support Senator Obama, you do, at least lay out an extremely thoughtful case as to how you got there. (unlike 95 percent of the hateful posts here).

    regarding his vote for Fisa, (and the Dem's utter capitualation) I am as utterly disenfranchised at the gutting of the constitution. As i heard a speaker on Randi Rhodes, and a different speaker on Olbereman, the rationale for supporting the bill was that it re-established the safeguards of needing warrants.

    That was was Obama's deciding factor; that there would be SOME paper trail as to who was asking for tapping and why. it RE-ESTABLISHED that provision totaly wiped out via the Patriot act. The immunity for the telecoms is utterly disgusting. And it is something Obama has pledged to have reviewed as president. That is his rationale. Whether you agree with him and his judgement on THIS; it is WHY he did it.

    But again; at least you came to your conclusion through a process other than being fed a line from fox, cnn, or wherever....

    it is nice to actually see a thoughtful post as opposed to just rants, ramblings, or the spouting of hateful slogans, half-truths, and outright lies.

    July 11, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Richardson for V.P

    it amazes me that people can look at the two candidates running for president, and even hint at voting for john mccain. obama is leagues ahead of john mccain in every aspect of the game, but I guess there something more concrete which is holding "certain voters" for embracing him..Race anyone...

    Obama =the great uniter
    mccain =the engine that couldn't, and should have never tried

    July 11, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Mark

    Senator Hagel is a straight shooter and sticts to his principals. I have a lot of respect for that. I believe his courage of convictions complements Mr. Obama's very well.

    July 11, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  23. bk

    Mark Anthony
    You are getting the same old crap. You just don't know it. You must not be able to recognize arrogant BS when you see it.

    July 11, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. albert griffith

    much respect to sen.chuck hagel man iam a big fan of him,barack needs to take Gen.Wesley Clark with him as well along with jack reed and joe biden!!!!!OBAMA/CLARK OR BIDEN 08!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Terry McCormick

    Does the guy from Knoxville think that the Iraq War was a good idea? Did Republican promises about the war come true (for instance, lower gas prices, greeted as liberators, democracy sweeps the region, etc)? Does he think about issues or simply spout the FoxNews party line?

    I guess he went to the University of Tennessee for his edukashun.

    July 11, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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