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. Peggy

    If Obama picks any Republican for his running mate, I will vote for McCain!! Obama/Clinton '08!!!

    July 11, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Carol, Lansing

    For the past 30 years that I have had the ability to vote, it had been rumored that there might be a bipartisan ticket on more than one occasion, however it has never happened.

    I think it would be great, talk about change.....

    Obama 08

    P redictable Republicans
    U ndercover
    M asquerading
    A s disgruntled Hillary supporters

    July 11, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    Americans wake up, you can't elect a president based on affirmitive action. Obama is using white guilt, the man is dangerously unqualified and never made the tough call, something many Americans have made.

    July 11, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Debby

    It won't happen because alot of Dem. voters will be turned off. This is just the Kerry/McCain thing all over again.

    July 11, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Former HC Girl

    Good, he can pick Hagel and McCain can pick Hillary. Nobama will lose by a landslide.

    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |

    You people are idiots.

    You have space provided free to build up your own candidate.

    Instead, you show your ignorance by making negative statements about the opposing.

    You're just like the politicians you're so sick of. And I'm getting sick of negative, negative, negative, ad nauseum.


    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Anita from Arizona

    Yuppers, a lot of negative comments for Obama from the McCain supporters. No positive comments to share about their own candidate. Maybe that's what's wrong with the GOP? Too many negatives to swim in? Maybe... I'll stay positive and optimistic for a change. It's like listening to the one who complains the most and thinking "Oh gees, where we go again???"

    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Barack, for now

    I am an Obama supporter. If he picks Hagel (of Diebold fame!) for his running mate, he loses my vote. Easy as that.

    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. MGR, Orlando, FL


    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. EDW

    N Thomas you have a point there,
    at least with them still in the military they have jobs. The FDIC just took over Indymac bank today.

    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Deb, IN

    Let Obama have Hagel.
    McCain/Clinton and her 18MILLION voters=President McCain!

    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Dalton

    Obama picking a Republican... I wish, but no way will he do that

    July 11, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Diing

    According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, refine means "To use precise distinctions and subtlety in thought or speech"
    To purify is another definition, but the word change (flip-flop) has no place in refinement. It is a tragedy more Americans are uneducated!. To me, that should seriously be national security concern.

    July 11, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    That's my man, going for the real change. Give them all the show what kind of foreign relations high developed american leader and future Commander in Chief you are. Don't worry about that b... of an Hillary fundraiser who don't like you. After you be President she will be standing at the door of the White House and you know why.

    July 11, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Lora B.

    Yeah, like that will ever happen – NOT!

    Nothing against Hagel, in fact, he is one republican that I actually like. However, if by chance something were to happen and Obama could not fulfill the presidency, Hagel would be the one to take over and there is absolutely no way the dems would allow that to happen.

    Obama / Clinton '08

    July 11, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Venus

    Way to go Bam! Go with some real people and no stunks!

    July 11, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Former HC Girl

    Oh Yeah, I predict Hagel will take his name out of the running for VP. NO ONE wants to be on the ticket with the clown from Chicago.

    July 11, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Give it a rest...Hagel is going to Iraq with Obama...no where does the campaign say Hagel is being considered for VP

    For a countryalways complaining about partisan politics, you would think voters would embrace this bipartisan trip.

    Good for both Hagel and Obama!!!

    July 11, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Sarah

    This is the dumbest post ever. Did you think of this yourself while tripping on acid? Or simply act as a mindless conduit for Obama's flack as they try to spin him away from his (truthful) image as an ivory tower liberal? I suspect the latter. Not even acid could convince anyone that Obama would *really* consider a Republican. BTW, the whole beltway knows he's looking at Sam Nunn for VP. Gotta win back those white males leaning toward McCain...

    July 11, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Monica, Ca

    I think it is great that Obama is bringing two different view points along with him on his trips. How can things get better if no one provides a different perspective? Bush surrounded himself with a bunch of "yes" men and look where that got us. No one had the courage to stand up and say "Wait a minute Bush." Those who did (Colin Powell), left the scene either on their own accord or Bush sent them packing. Hagel is not my first choice for VP, but he definitely is not the worst.

    Obama '08

    July 11, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    This is great. Obama picks a Republican as a veep running mate.
    Now all we need is to have McCain make it a clean sweep-pick
    Independent ex-Democrat Joe Liebermann as his veep.
    A presidential race for the ages.

    July 11, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. YES WE WILL!

    Take down that WARMOUNGER McPander!

    Too bad McBush wasn't still in jail

    July 11, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Bill Brown

    So Obama is going to try to do what Kerry failed to do when he wanted McCain?

    These folks need some serious counseling.

    July 11, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |

    Teleprompter to the left........Teleprompter to the right..

    July 11, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. NW

    Good job Senator Obama! That's the way to work it as a team of unity. Unity does not mean within a particular party itself. It means to unify the country as a one nation and one America. Congradulation!!

    July 11, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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