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. mayahh


    July 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    You Had A Very Successful Trip! Now Its Time To Come Home And Slam Mccain! He Has Been Talking Trash The Entire Time You Were Gone!

    July 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. anyway

    SENATOR OBAMA stop acting as if you do not know that you will be criticized no matter what you do. You are an African Amerian, who have to be 3 times as good, for some that still would not be enough. So be you and follow God's lead you will be fine

    July 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. terry,va

    BHO should stay over in Europe with the rest of the spineless, liberal radicals.

    July 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Hillary got screwed

    Boo Hoo Obama. Set the stage for failure and reap whatever sympathy support you can muster.....very original !!

    July 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Franky

    "Throughout his eight-country trip Obama sought to distance himself from his battle with Sen. John McCain and focus on foreign affairs."

    That's actually the right thing to do. You don't have to worry about us here in the states. This wasn't for us, it was the communication and relationship we have. Me personally, I didn't see it that way for us. I didn't see it as a way to try and get votes over here. I seen it as a way to express companionship and friendship within our allies. And plus, he had fun over there! He talked with leaders, he rode a mercedes 600(which is cool by the way), gave a BIG speech at Berlin(which I'm certain the people over there appreciated), talked to the King of Jordan about policy, etc. This trip wasn't about whether he would get votes or not, it was about building trust and honesty among allies. But most importantly, it was about communication. And by the way, one of my favorite questions that Larry(King) asked my boy was "Will you ever visit Iraq?" And guess what? He did already!! Not just him alone, he went with Hagel and Reed. How well could that have been?? To me personally, that's important....

    As for Senator McCain...........all I wanna say that his own boy(Hagel) called him out....

    July 26, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian



    July 26, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. cas

    This "tour" is just a political, stagecrafted stunt to make him look good. Well, looking good and DOING good are two different things.


    This man should not be "politicking" abroad. There are many issues here at home that need to be addressed and he has flipped on all of them!


    TIME FOR A ROLL CALL at the Convention!

    July 26, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Shannon in California

    I don't think it will hurt him at all. The only thing McCain did all week was complain he did not talk about anything related to the economy of substance. He whined and complained about what Obama was doing. So, no, Obama will be able to come back and pick up where he left off. Hopefully he can stay on message, and make McCain look even weaker, and more insecure as he continues to attack Obama.

    July 26, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Mike Dallas

    It will not hurt you. Most Americans want to see that their leader can both envision and execute that vision. We would also like to see America returned to the former level of global prestige before the Bush adminstration's cowboy and "bring 'em on" diplomacy.

    July 26, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. smart1mart of Dallas,TX

    a very smart man indeed, thinks before he speaks, now that's great leadership in my opinion, i don't see why people don't see that, he not flippant or arrogant just smart. people cant seem to understand that, they just look for any reason not to except that but truth be told they just wont except that an black man can be a president of the United States so they find excuses as to why they wont vote for him. we need a change. we need to become the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA again not the DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA because that's what we've become like some would like to keep us.

    July 26, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Andy

    Did Obama go to Europe as a citizen or a Senator? He cannot pick and choose as he sees fit.

    July 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. gregory

    yes we can mr ob,so glad your making it .please take haliary as vp there wounld be no way to stop them them those pair ob hrc

    July 26, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Once again, everything is always about him winning the election!

    July 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Ian

    I think McCain forgot about the whole "telling Obama he was supposed to take this trip" part. He's been having quite a few of those special moments lately where he just forgets little details of information. Like the fact that Czechoslovakia hasn't been a country since 1993 or that Pakistan does not in fact border Iraq. I'm sure what he lacks in basic facts and common knowledge he can make up for in "experience," just like President Bushy.

    It's past your bedtime Johnny! Eat your prunes and we'll tuck you in!

    wah wah waaaaaah

    July 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. pt

    America desperately needs Obama now! I shudder to think what four more years like the last eight would do to this country if McCain were president.

    July 26, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Marc, Canada

    I'm so impressed at how Barack Obama handles the most difficult questions and how he analyzes everything with such grace and expertise.

    I'm also impressed at how he seems to have a handle on just about every issue facing my American friends and relatives as well as those of us that love the USA but live abroad.

    July 26, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    Personally, I think that the polls will rise up higher again after his overseas tour. All the opposition could do was prattle and tattle and spin, while Obama attended to the matters at hand. The majority of us can see right through this.

    Rest awhile Senator Obama. Thank you for representing us well!

    July 26, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Willy

    I bet he's wondering with state he's in today.

    July 26, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. strong

    Why all this globe-trotting during a presidential campaign/election? Obama should have enough on his plate here at home.

    Cynically, all this travelling could be a quasi-vacation for him, all paid for by the taxpayer. You're welcome.

    July 26, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Robin A Blue

    Anyone who would knock him for this trip is a fool. HELLO....Wake up people. Our relationships with other countries have been strained for years now. We have been looked at not as a beacon of peace but as a bully and arrogant. We need this moment in which Barack gave us so that we can build the trust and honor we once held in this world. What the h–l is wrong with that? If you don't like Obama that is fine but don't just criticise him for the sake of. We need a leader like him and you all know it. So lets not be foolish, lets be real in our critique of Obama. Even if you are not voting for him you can still be man (woman) enough to say that he would be good for building up our image in the world.

    July 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Brad

    From an undecided, observant position, I think this whole trip of Obama's just goes to show how extremely arrogant he is. How dare this man prance around other countries speaking and acting as though he is already the President of the United States. In this country, we vote people into office. Until this guy gets the majority vote, and the votes of the electoral college, he ought to stay here at home and focus on domestic issues. To act as though he owns the presidency is disrespectful towards our election system, and is a symbolic "spit in the face" to American voters.

    I give a thumbs up to McCain for staying at home and being focused on domestic issues, as well as keeping his compsoure during the disgusting bias of our mainstream news. I can't wait to see these two debate it out in the months to come.

    July 26, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. David Newport, OR

    The problem at home is that the majority of Americans are too stupid to look past the Republican criticisms. Why are the Republicans complaining? Because they thought he would be a failure. Yet the exact opposite happened. Those people who do not like him, will never like the possibility of a peaceful America where our civil liberties are upheld. He has totally eliminated the 1 complaint the Republicans had against him...so what can they criticize now? That he isn't giving the American people enough attention? Sad.

    July 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Steve

    If this very successful tour hurt Obama in anyway it would be a shame and a testimony to the uphill battle he has in front of him with some of the inbreed in his own country. How could anyone not be proud of how he represents his country unlike McSurge who seem to have a bit of a problem remembering where he is and who are the conflict parties in Iraq. Without Liberman and the other moron that travels with him all the time he would look like a total fool and incompetent..Just like George.

    July 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Unshrub

    It does not matter what Obama does, the right will find a reason to complain about it so they can avoid talking about the issues.

    July 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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