July 26th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama: Tour may hurt me at home

Sen. Barack Obama leaves 10 Downing Street Saturday.

Sen. Barack Obama leaves 10 Downing Street Saturday.

LONDON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama conceded to reporters that his stint off the American campaign trail may hurt him a bit with voters but felt the trip was vital to giving a “sense of where an Obama administration might take” U.S. foreign policy.

“I am not sure that there is going to be some immediate political impact. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that in some polls that you saw a little bit of a dip as a consequence, we have been out of the country for a week," he said. "People are worried about gas prices and home foreclosures. So the reason I thought this trip was important was I am convinced that many of the issues that we face at home are not going to be solved as effectively unless we have strong partners abroad.”

Throughout his eight-country trip Obama sought to distance himself from his battle with Sen. John McCain and focus on foreign affairs. As he finished his meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama reengaged in the contest at hand when asked about McCain’s criticism that his time abroad appeared like a “premature victory lap.”

“It is hard for me to understand Sen. McCain’s argument. He was telling me I was supposed to take this trip. He suggested it and thought it was a good idea. But although I have to admit we had it planned before he made the suggestion,” he said.

John McCain has visited every one of these countries post-primary that I have. He has given speeches in Canada, in Colombia, Mexico, he made visits. And so it doesn’t strike me that we have done anything different than the McCain campaign has done which is to recognize that part of the job of the next president, commander in chief is to forge effective relationships with our allies.”

The scene outside Number 10 Downing Street appeared to surprise Obama as he strode out of the door. He had barely reached the microphone before British journalists started throwing questions.

Obama was asked whether he had any “advice” for Prime Minister Brown who is in a bit of political trouble after tremendous losses for the Labour Party in a recent election.

“I don’t have advice for Prime Minister Brown. I will tell you that you are always more popular before you are actually in charge of things. And then, you know, once you are responsible then you are going to make some people unhappy, and that is just the nature of politics,” Obama said. “And these things go in cycles. Even in the course of this campaign there have been months where I am a genius and months where I am an idiot. At least if you read the newspapers, it seems I am pretty much the same guy throughout this process but my actions and the results are going to be perceived differently at any given time.”

Obama returns to Chicago on Saturday and is expected to hit the campaign trail almost immediately.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. Typical White Person

    If he "felt the trip was vital to giving a sense of where an Obama administration might take” U.S. foreign policy" then he should have actually SAID something about his foreign policy plans instead of making flowery speaches and trying to paint himself as the presumptive President.

    July 26, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. mhm

    i thought it was a great tour and i'm sure obamas supporters are quite happy.his numbers will gradually grow as mccain campaigns only on the "success of the surge".they are so stuck on iraq and its oil,that they are dropping the ball in afghanistan,which has nothing,but poppies .

    July 26, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Dan, MA

    You've got my support, Obama. We need real change in this country, not more crap from oil-friendly "good ole boys."

    July 26, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Chris Deep (NY)

    Barack Obama has the potential to be the most effective President the United States has ever produced. If a trip abroad is too much for the American public to swallow, then this country does not have any right to call itself a "world leader".

    In my humble opinion, both the Clinton and McCain campaigns relied/rely upon racism as their primary means of defeating Senator Obama. As an American, I rejected Senator Clinton's bid for President primarily because her campaign seemed to embrace racists (whom she did not "reject and denounce"). This is also one of many reasons I reject John McCain and his outdated mish-mash of ideas; not to mention his sense of reality. Personally, I have more trust in George W. Bush's wacky judgement abilities than I would in John McCain's, which is not saying much on any level.

    America will make a bold statement this November. Are we a nation of racists whom are hell bent on preserving the systems of social, economic and political oppression which have crippled this nation and removed us from being viewed as legitimate players internationally ? Or, are we ready and willing to join the rest of the world in the 21st century.

    The choice is your America – progress or suffer the consequences.

    Strictly Obama 08

    July 26, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. pam Eugene OR

    What is good for the goose...
    McCain talks out of both sides of his mouth and the only thing that comes out is whining. McCain is green with envy and it shows more every day.

    July 26, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA

    It was all for photo ops and not for anything else. Sen. Barry Obama may be able to "talk a good talk" but he can't walk any kind of walk. Why won't he show us his official birth certificate? Why won't he allow his "white folk" grandmother to be interviewed? He has no advice for European leaders but he had a million dollars and lots of advice for his Kenya cousin, Raila Odinga, who got his political position in Kenya by threatening riots (funded by Sen. Obama's money??? WHERE did the money come from? Sen. Obama's political donations or his own earnings?)

    Sen. Barry Obama has distanced himself from the American Voter. He is aloof, elitist, conceited, and self-absorbed. The world does not revolve around Barry Dunham Soetoro Obama, the man who may not even BE a United States citizen eligible for the Presidency of the USofA.

    Where's Barry Dunham Soetoro Obama's certified Birth Certificate? (We've already seen the fraudulent one on his website.)

    McCain '08

    July 26, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. papaohio

    Good job MR OBAMA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    July 26, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Dennis

    McCain is going to be openly critical of virtually every move Obama makes, so why even worry about what he thinks of the trip? The cold reality is that after 8 years of the worst president in the history of our country, our standing in the world is at what must now be close to a historic low.

    The next president is going to have a phenomenal task ahead of him if we are to regain any credibility in international affairs, and yet McCain and his campaign have the gall to mock Obama for trying to gather information enough to make informed decisions.

    I know the concept of "informed decisions" is lost on McCain and Bush, evidenced by the mess they've made of our country in the last 8 years, but please . . . if you want better press coverage, voice better ideas to attract attention, enough of this whining already.

    A vote for McCain is simply a vote for Bush's third term. . .

    July 26, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Lori


    "Vital to giving a sense of where an Obama administration might take" U.S. foreign policy? More empty spin.

    He knows as well as you or I that nothing serious transpired on this trip. Just photo-ops, and the groundwork established for him to be able to claim he's been to these places.

    Where an Obama administration WILL take us: more spin while he learns on the job and American citizens suffer through the serious problems we have.

    And yes, he has been the same guy throughout this process–a lying, spinning, devious Mr. Cool, fooling a lot of the people into thinking he's different, when in actuality he's WORSE than many other politicians.


    July 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Butch Dillon

    Obama's trip isn't about to hurt him in the U.S. Most Americans are too stupid to realize he's been out of the country.

    July 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Griff

    You are not a 10.. Just a dreamer again...

    July 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Rookie

    CNN is so lost in the '90s.

    Obama's trip hardly 'hurts' him. Rather, it solidifies his image as the one US politician who can stand as a 21st century world leader and project the best America has to offer.

    We are an intertwined global society. It's about time a pol treated the world like it is and celebrate the fact we can work together with other countries to solve problems rather than recklessly pretend we can make it on our own.

    July 26, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Turning the page

    Some have cynically referred to Sen. Obama as the messiah. I say Sen. Barack Obama must be God sent to have appeared at this critical time when this country and the world urgently need CLEAR, SMART, SELFLESS leadership.

    God bless Sen. Obama and his family. God also bless Sen. Mccain and all the voters to NOT stand in the way of history.

    July 26, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Peg Pierce

    Senator Obama's trip and enthusiastic reception from international leaders, as well as the response from citizens of the countries visited proved that people around the world are as ready for change in American politics as the people of the United States are. Obama is the candidate to lead the country in that new direction.

    July 26, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Concerned Citizen of America 2008

    This trip sure didn't make me feel insecure about my vote for Obama. I think this trip was important to prove that he can meet with foreign leaders to discuss world problems that affect us all. Climate change, the economy and war affects us all whether you want to believe it or not. The world is watching this election cycle with anticipation and hoping that Americans will step up to the plate and vote against the status quo which is so obvious with the McCain campaign.

    July 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. emmanuel

    Hey Senator Obama, you did great with your trip just as I predict that you will with your presidency and as president come january 2009. you cannot pay too much attention to those who are cranky and jealous because they are not getting enough attention. you are the future and for the future, not the past, for this country.

    July 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Connie

    You still have my vote and support, Mr.President. OBAMA 08

    Connie from Indiana

    July 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Rob

    Nah. Your overseas trip was great. It showed what an excellent statesman you are . It also demonstrated to the world that there is an American leader that wants to work with our allies overseas and not thumb their nose at them . And it is ok if McSurge feels a bit left out. He should be.

    July 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. E.P.Stewart

    Yes We Can!! I admire you for not smearing McCain though he has made a daily task of doing so to you. I believe God is on your side and you know what the Bible says;

    What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

    I pray you become the next president of the United States of America.

    July 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. arkansas hillbilly

    why are you tossing all my comments?i'm not typing them,again.so bye,now,i'm going to FOX NEWS to blog.u guys suck!

    July 26, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. aaaaa

    well it wont change we all know that mccain is a loser.

    July 26, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Ken

    Maybe Obama should stay out of the country. He seems to want to help everyone with the exception of the American people.

    If Obama expects to win in November, he will need to have Hillary Clinton on the ticket. Other wise, McCain will end up winning in November and be our next President. I just happened to be one of the Clinton voters that plans on voting for McCain unless Obama puts Hillary Clinton on the ticket.

    Obama/Clinton 2008

    July 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    For those who prefer honesty, a surge is a flash flood. All Petreus and McCain did, with bribe money to terrorists, was build a dam; a dam that will one day burst!
    By WHAT measure is the splurge a succes? Is the War over, are American troops coming home. How long before McCain calls for another splurge??? (One a year for 100 years!?)
    When the splurge is shown to be a failure, and it will be, with renewed violence, McCain will say he 'predicted' it.
    He's the biggest flop flipper in the history of the world.
    McCain "the Iraq war will quick and decisive with low casualties"
    MCain "anybody who thought it would a short road was a fool"
    McCain "The surge allowed for the awakening"
    McCain "because the awakening was the start of the surge"
    McCain "troop levels are down after the surge"
    McCain "potentially"
    McCain "I agree and don't agree with the Bush tax cuts"
    McCain "I agree and don't agree with offshore drilling"
    McCain "I agree and don't agree with gay marriage" < Google it
    McCain "I, 'finally' agree with the King holiday in Arizona but not Nationally' "I gave up information to the Cong because I had heard of pow's dieing" "I didn't know my daddy recommended me for a bravery medal"
    "When I am president I will bend Russia and China to my will" <Google it
    McCain to NAACP "Obama is a wonderful fellow"
    as soon as he left the building "Obama will say anyhing to win"
    What a panderer!

    July 26, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Hagee and parsley are great American leaders who should speak for my campaign

    July 26, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. John Zeger

    I am more disgusted than ever with Barack Obama for his shameless appeal to empty headedness that he made in his European tour with great sounding but shallow and meaningless rhetoric. This man is clearly all image and no substance. The choice this November between him and John McCain makes me want to puke.

    July 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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