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. rachel

    If he does I wont be able to stomach him, with all the party needs to be untied crap.

    July 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. Rose McMahon

    If Obama choose a republican VP then he will not my vote. I got Democrat all the way!!

    July 11, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. Mark in CA

    Auntie Coosa:

    Two things:

    Wow, he's trying to court Republican votes in an election so he can win it?? Crazy, immoral stuff!

    Laughable comment about Obama when McCain speaks like a complete ignoramus, repeatedly, about middle eastern matters and has Lieberman actually whispering in his ear to save him.

    Obama is sticking to his I'm the non-partisan guy who'll change politics and reach across the aisle, theme. You may not like it but it's a consistent strategy, and one that resonates with a lot of folks after all the divisive, completely partisan crap of the "uniter" "decider" Dubya.

    July 11, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Mark

    So if Obama wins in November, which I doubt he will and he chooses a Republican as VP. What happens if Obama cannot continue his term, does that mean another Republican is in the white house as president????

    Obama is really a republican pretending to be a democrat.

    July 11, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Mike – good ridance. Why post up comments about what you're gonna do. You guys aren't threats. You had your mind made up long ago.

    July 11, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Mark in CA

    p.s. Reagan was a great speaker who delegated often to, and took counsel from, folks with more expertise than him about certain (if not all) subjects. The right doesn't complain about that.

    July 11, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Cliff

    This clown would get Charles Manson for a VP if he thought it would get some votes. When is America going to wake up and figure out this rhetorical sham and salesman? I fear it will be way too late.

    July 11, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. SLIM

    I would love to see Obama with a Republican VP. Sounds good to me.

    July 11, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Oops! Obama takes a democrat and a republican with him, how smart can one be. Now John McCain can't say that Obama came back with an "democrat only opinion". Looks like the fox, McCain, got out foxed.

    July 11, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Clinton/Clinton '08

    Obama = Flip Flop version of an inexperienced version of John Kerry = 14% of Democrats unsure of his legitamacy as President due to his inexperience = John McCain as President in 2009.

    If Obama can pick Hagel, let McCain pick Hillary and call me a McCain/Clinton supporter.

    This scenario was played out (Alan Alda was the Rep candidate for Pres and Jimmy Smits the Dem candidate for Pres) in a recently cancelled T.V. Show – 'West Wing". There Alda, aka. Arnold Vinik is the senior between the 2 of them, like McCain, the experienced between the 2 of them, like McCain..and Smits wins in the end and picks Alda as his Secretary of State.

    Why don't we just let CNN, the pundits and analyst pick who's going to 'WIN' and have Obama or McCain just pick the 'LOSER' as the V.P.

    Please, from a civics minded Democrat who in the 2000 RIGGED Election saw the decision go to a Supreme Court Judge by the name of Kennedy, let the voters choose for a change. Thank you

    July 11, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Donna – bye!

    July 11, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. bpower

    Noone has to whisper in OBAMA's ear ...he wears an earpiece or uses a teleprompter. Where have people been??? Under a rock.

    I hope McCain chooses Hillary.

    July 11, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. MARYANN Oswego IL

    Mr. Obama what the Hell are you thinking..I cannot stand either nominee...Mr. Hagel is a pro life conservative...the only thing he has in common with me (lifelong liberal ) is he view of this Iraq WAr...why would Obama pick a republican when we have soo many great democrats out there...he is such a phony and his wife is NO JACKIE O...please Jackie was a beautiful woman inside and out and always thought of others before herself....

    July 11, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. TIM, Boston, MA

    senator Obama,

    there is NOTHING in the middle, between GOP and DNC, between the right and the left.

    you can get majority votes only by making persuasive arguments,

    not by having a one-from-each-side ticket.


    July 11, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Ben4Obama

    It wont be the first time Dems & Repubs go on such a trip together get a life people. Barack has not chosen a VP yet!

    July 11, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. SLIM

    The trip to Iraq should be a good one with these two good men accompanying Mr. Obama. THREE GOOD MEN, WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND A CHANGE. GO GUYS we wish you love and much prayers.

    July 11, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Lesley July 11th, 2008 6:49 pm ET

    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.

    You would have a point "IF" McCain himself wasn't also in deep cahoots with Hagel. McCain really can't blast hagel since he too is vying for him. This would actually make Hagel a great VP choice when you think about it. Hagel would be bulletproof since McCain holds him in such high regard. Any attack on Hagel would be seen as flip flop/backstabbing/jealousy.

    July 11, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. Mike, FL

    For all the McBush supporters, next time you fill up ur tank and it hurts, just think of McBush calling you a whiner!

    July 11, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Swift

    we are not able to handle a minority member of our population, who has a handful of days in Senate office as preparation for the highest level job in the free world, it just isnt going to work, no matter how bad the liberals and short sighted want it. read the book, "If democrats had any brains they would be republicans"....very revealing reading

    July 11, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. John

    This could be the beginning of a new, and badly needed mix to American politics that could be the first step to a powerful third party for Americans who have had it with the same old politics of yesterday. Look at what our yesterday have brought us. Our president is working with covert policies within our boarders, and against US citizens. This president (Bush) functions like we're the enemy, the American public. It's time for a new mix...anythings better than Bush and Cheney who have made the White House resemble a cheap used car dealership.

    July 11, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. Nevada Independant

    Whether Obama actually chooses Hagel or not, it is encouraging that he is demonstrating early on a desire to take advice from both sides of the aisle.
    McCain doesn't stand a chance against this rival. His own friends (Hagel) are escorting Obama on tours of Iraq. That doesn't sound so great for McCain...

    July 11, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. The Real Issues

    I believe that Obama will pick a person who will help him in the election. Although some may say he will pick a Republican, I look for him to pick a moderate Southern politician who has instant credibility to get things done.............

    July 11, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. Franky

    Holla at your boy!!! Holla at your boy!! LOL!! I can't wait when I run for President, LOL!!! You gotta love politics baby!

    July 11, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  24. Pat

    If Obama chooses a Republican, he really will be the dumbest candidate to ever run for President.

    July 11, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA July 11th, 2008 6:57 pm ET

    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.

    You are already deceived by politics. (if you're voting for McFlipFlop)

    July 11, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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