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. Mir

    So, visits to Iraq: McCain, 8 Obama 2...and counting. It's funny that McCain the old guy has traveled more than the Obamabot Himself

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

    Or Hagel's just a good guy to go to Iraq with.

    July 11, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. Awaiting moderation to infinity and beyond

    Yeah! In 4 years maybe we could have a Newt Gingrich – Al Gore ticket? Woo hoo.

    July 11, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. Ron Nebraska

    Marc PDX July 11th, 2008 6:30 pm ET

    Quick! Somebody send Barack a copy of "The Iraq War for Dummies" before he goes
    Can't, Dick isn't done reading it to George yet

    July 11, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Sheri

    Much LOVE AND PRAYERS. Three (3) GOOD MEN will make a difference (thank you Slim) Be safe guys and acomplish your mission. AMERICA NEEDS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  6. nick, houston

    Obama/Dem 2008

    not Hagel

    I love Obama

    I do not like the Republican leadership that has acted so dishonestly.

    July 11, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. Kevin Miller

    Obama is already in danger of losing some Democrats on going to the center on certain issues. I can't believe Obama can't pick a moderate Democrat, and still make moderate independents and unhappy Republicans feel comfortable, while also not being too far to the right for Democrats. Chuck Hagel is a good man, and I have to thank Sen. Hagel for standing up to his own party, and the President when it comes to the Iraq war, but that's where it stops. He is still a right leaning Republican, and still opposes 90% of the issues Democrats support. I think a moderate Democrat from a red state like Sen. Evan Bayh would be the better choice.

    July 11, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. i told you so

    Doesn't it bother you idiots that fell in love with this charlatan, that
    he used the liberal wing of democratic party during the primary the
    way Bush used the right wing conservatives. Once primary is over BO can't sprint fast enough to the middle. For someone that is supposed to be about change seems pretty old school to me.

    The tragey of this whole thing, is that these are the two best guys we
    can come up with – McCain and Obama – pathetic.

    One is just a senior moment away from blowing us into obilivion and the other is a snake oil salesman that we have just seen the first of many flip flops from – he has no experience at balancing budgets nor any international credentials – yet we think his is going to lead out of the bushes Bush is leaving us in – he may look like Alfred E. Newman but we are mad for following him and his – What me worrry! attitude.

    July 11, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. bettyc, Havre de Grace, MD

    I am an old lady Democrat who would be thrilled with Hagel, as well as Nunn, Richardson or the governor of PA. I want to save Biden for DOD, Dodd for State and Edwards for AG. How's that for a powerhouse group..

    July 11, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. RJ, CA

    Even Germany doesn't want Obama. Obama now wants to position himself next to the Brandenburg Gate! That actually makes me laugh, after I throw up! That's where President Reagan - after making America strong miliariliy - was able to say, "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall" - and down it came.

    Obama 's "claim to fame" now is to sponsor a race car! Geeze - how stupid are the Obamabots to go for this - guess plenty stupid! But NOT the rest of us!

    Obama is truly digging his own grave! Meanwhile, McCain is running great ads - with dignity and substance! And I'll take that any time!

    July 11, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. Ron M.

    Might as well just vote for McCain after all. Obama is so out of touch with what is going on in America. He's just the reincarnation of Jimmy Carter. Remember how well his presidencey turned out? If he wins in November and pushes us even further down the drain then Bush has we won't get a democrat in office for 20 years. I think I'll just move to Canada.

    July 11, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Sandy

    Tell the men and women we love them over there in iraq but please be carefull..let them know it's time for them to come home where they belong.

    July 11, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. JT

    This is absurdity....Obama is the most left-wing politician in America. No matter what he claims about being able to reach across the aisle, this article is pure CNN propoganda trying to paint Obama as someone who actually can reach accross to Republicans, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Stop Obamunism!!

    July 11, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. linda

    I thought it is on the books that you can't have a president and vice president as two different parties. I was told this by a politican.

    July 11, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Harry C

    Great! Go Obama!

    July 11, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. College Student, Sokane, WA

    Oh no! BIPARTISANSHIP! The world is coming to an end. (Sarcasm).

    Wouldn't it be nice to have someone who wasn't a complete partisan hack run this country. Stop accusing Obama of "flip flopping." It's far better than "staying the course" even though it is blatantly obvious that you are wrong. Barack is the kind of guy that will listen to the people and- wait for it.... COMPROMISE! Shocker!!! John McCan't is old hat and all of you McCrazies are just scared.

    OBAMA / ANYONE '08

    July 11, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Vence

    I will rethink my vote for Obama.

    July 11, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. James M. Holmes

    Man, you can just smell the fear from the comments we are seeing right now from the GOP's radical right-wing !!! Your policies are failures... Accept it "wingnuts"... and most of America sees it. Finally!!!

    Hagel is the only Republican that didn't just "fall in line" with his GOP marching orders and closed his eyes to the realities of it all. Some rational thinking from Independant thinkers is just what this country needs...

    Obama / Hagel '08 !!! History in the making!!!

    July 11, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. Deb,KS

    Boy, this just gets getting better. What a deal, an out of source Hessien taking on a Republican as a VP. Us Democrats are just sworming in ?????. I just can't figure out what this elections means to anybody anymore. I don't like Republicans I am a strong Democrat so why in the world would would I trust a Demo wanting a Rep for a VP. I will never vote for Obama, he proves to me each and everyday he has no experience or common sense about anything but making himself look like he is King of the Hill. Sorry, but Obama sucks.

    Hillary for President or no vote from me.
    Just can't stand him

    July 11, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. GE

    Sen. Hagel would be a far far better choice than HR(H)C! I could go for it – unless McCain picks Joe Lieberman (which he should but won't). Then I beome too conflicted to vote rationally.

    July 11, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. Y2W.ORG

    A bipartisan ticket is just what we need! I believe a joint ticket of this nature will unite both parties at a time when unification is so desperately needed. Obama's ability to reach across the party line is his first step in promoting real change. Although I still love HILLARY! An Obama/Hagel ticket is a sure thing and will be a landside victory. Join Y2W in celebrating this victory on 01.19.09. Visit Y2W.ORG for more details.

    July 11, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. Jim

    Mr Hagel would be a better choice for President then the jokers on the top of the tickets! Be real, step up to Barr. Barr is for ALL Americans! He will bring this country back to greatness! In order to succeed, we must open our minds beyond the two-party system.

    July 11, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Cameron

    Hagel would be par for the course for the Democratic presumptive nominee – BHO, since he is trying to pander to every voting block in the U.S., including evangelicals and conservative Republicans. Politics more than usual for the presumptive far left candidate.

    July 11, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. Harry C

    I agree so many people are just plain idiots or racises; but are too stupid to admit it... Obama is the best thing this country has seen in a generation, since Kennedy!

    July 11, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Lois

    Hagel! All the way, Obama! Good luck and make us proud over there! I KNOW you won't pick YOUR nose in public or leave the parting shot of "Goodbye, from the world's biggest polluter" and grin and jab the air, while other G8 world leaders are looking on in shock. You are thinking on your feet. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER.

    Chris Spring from TX YES, We WILL take Hagel, Leiberman R-Israel needs to leave and SOON.

    July 11, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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