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. Janet

    Barack Obama will be just fine. He will get his rating back up.
    People love him..
    He will do just fine getting back into the campaign arena.

    Denver, here we come!

    July 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Jim in Calif.

    Obama's trip abroad was not a distraction nor a "premature victory lap." His trip was entirely appropriate for his campaign because it gave the American people valuable insights on how Obama would relate to foreign leaders and carry out foreign policy – essential parts of the President's job! Except for die-hard GOP critics, Americans now have a high comfort level and are giving Obama high marks for his foreign policy expertise.

    July 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |

    Someone had to do what Bush should have been doing. We are not elite and exempt from havoc coming upon us just because we are the USA. Many Americans need to understand that concept. Building healthy relationships with others is needed because we should not have to take on all of the drama of the world.

    USA need to handle the high amounts of controversy that is still plaguing this country; like RACE for example.

    July 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Dana in north Carolina

    I think the tour went splendidly, and definitely in Obama's favor. Hence mcCain's "feeling left out", especially after he was the one yelling the loudest that Obama needed to go. That was McCain who kept almost daring him to go, right?

    July 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. mb--texas

    The only reason McCain is complaining about Obama's trip,
    but after Obama's trip played out so well McCain started
    complaining.The crowds the goodwill of each country he visited
    if elected President he will spread goodwill from the United States
    as should be.We are a great country and we should show the
    world what we are ,we can and will will work with other countries
    on world problems.Here again McCain should get all his ducks in line
    and campaign as he wants and quit spitting out sound bites and
    nervous laughs when he says something.

    July 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Marty, FL

    I think Obama's trip helped him. It demonstrated an ability to meet with foreign leaders in a well-received manner, which can only help rebuild our relations if he should become president. It may have strengthened his credentials for some Americans if the latest bump in polls are any indication, but the fact that Obama would remain humble and cautious makes it more respectful. Here's praying for his safe return home.

    Obama '08

    July 26, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Scott Walters

    Let me get this straight: McCain's campaign at one time had a clock indicating how long it had been since Obama had visited Iraq, and now they complain that he's visited Iraq?

    July 26, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Ohio

    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 copied and I second – I will vote Obama – but what bothers me the most is he is acting like he is the president and he is not – mostly he has not been nomitated offically – Hope this works out like powers in play hope – he will be PUPPET make no mistake just like bush – just by the Dems – For goodness sake he is younger than me and I am close to 50 – and have more experience

    July 26, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. lynne

    this article at least made mention that mcCain too took a trip to Europe, Mexico, Columbia, made a major speech in Canada. Many of the media repeat the Republican talking points without rebutting the half-truths and obfuscations.

    July 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    This man insults the black people the world over. He does not represent me as a world citizen. White America should be ashamed of oppressing the brightest, gifted black people of the world when they speak the truth. I'm not an Obama fan either.

    July 26, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |


    July 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Generation X

    The only things trying to hurt Obama are; Republicans, PUMA (poor uneducated miserable adults) and the media. But, guess what!! NOT THIS TIME!! LMAO The real Revolution will not be televised.

    July 26, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. MARTHA


    July 26, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Iam4mycountry

    Willy: He is in the state of "Absolute Satisfaction" As everything went perfect for him. All McCain can do is whine. Pretty soon, people are just going to get sick of hearing McCain put him down all the time. McCain needs to move on and tell us in more detail exactly how he will win the war. He said on an interview when asked how that he couldn't tell us as that would let the enemy know what he has planned. "TOP SECRET" B...S...

    July 26, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Obama Has Substance

    Big Ole Congratulations to President Obama. I am from Canada and I am exntremely proud of this young leader. We here have been watching this man represent American with such grace, dignity, gentleness. He is a wonderful gift to America and the World. I beg all You who cannot see beyond the color of his skin to give him a chance. You have more to gain than lose. If America let this opportunity to elect this outstanding man as President failed because of race it would be a terrible thing. This man should be judge by the strength of his character and not the color of his skin. To all you Puma people please, please stop the hate. Lets bring your country and the World together. Yes you can.

    July 26, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. libs be dopes

    He is back from his excellent adventure!

    300 advisors and telepromters can't be wrong!

    Obama/Edwards 2008!


    July 26, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. DA

    Why in the world should this trip hurt him. I mean will the media give me a break!!! McCain went overseas and it wasn't a big deal so, why is it such a big deal when the BLACK MAN goes!!! YEAH I'M PLAYING THE CARD THAT NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT IS BEING PLAYED UNDER THE TABLE WHEN IT COMES TO OBAMA!!! I'm so sick of this crap and how the media and the GOP are trying to play this!!! Obama trip overseas was a hit and good for this country as a whole!!! So folks give it a rest!!!

    July 26, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. TerryDo--PumaPac

    The tour may hurt you back home in America, but not as much as your arrogance parading around, as if, you were already the president.

    Did Obama break the Logan Act? Stay tuned to FoxNews for updates on this violation.

    July 26, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. AA

    This is funny...

    "How dare this man prance around other countries speaking like he was president. He should stay home."

    And sad.

    How ignorant does one really have to be? Going on a fact finding mission, introducing himself and getting a feel for what it will be like in the real job is wrong?

    Have you ever had a job offer that was not flipping burgers? When you are going for ANY position of substance you always come in a few times, learn about and speak with the people you will be working with, get a feel for what it is going to be like if and when the day comes.

    That is called being prudent, thorough and prepared. It allows you to formulate a better plan. It allows you to inform people who ask, what it will be like when you begin.

    Obama is a star, get over it. He has an exciting persona, people want to see and here him. And when they do, they like him and what he represents. That is not a flaw. It is real and it is not going to change weather he wins or loses the election. Nothing that he said during this trip was disrespectful to anyone, and especially the American voter. On the contrary it should be showing you that he IS respectful by how he represented you, an american citizen, who needs to work with the world. You should be very proud of his conduct and the reaction to it.

    The world is sick of cowboy George and his posse. They are boorish, ignorant, arrogant, disrespectful and do not in any way represent the views of most americans.


    July 26, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Peachy Keen

    Throughout this entire election process, Barack has always been an upbeat, positive force. On the other hand, John McCain is always bitter, always tearing his opponents down rather than tell us why he can better. All he can talk about is war. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of war. I want to get this country back to its' former self. I want to hear good things, not bad.
    Listen to Obama. You will never hear him throw insults al John McCain. Personally, I think he gives McCain too mcuh credit for something he did 40 years ago. And what did McCain do? Sat in a jail cell for five years and made 32 propoganda films for the enemy. My true hero's are the men in Vietnam who refused to make any propoganda films and died because of it..McCain they says he gave the names of offensive lineman from football teams in answer to who were in his squardron. He keeps saying a different team, depending on who asks him what he really said. Again, my true hero would be the man who only gave their name, rank and serial number and told the enemy to stuff it.

    July 26, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Well, Obama almost pulled it off. Right up until the point when he dissed the wounded troops he was fooling the world. He showed his true colors though. When told that the rules of the hospital visit would limit his party to 2-3 aides, no press, and no campaign officials, he cancels. If he couldn't have his photo op he couldn't be bothered. Instead he went to a gym. What vermin. He is unfit to command our troops. Then we hear at least 3 different stories why he decided not to go.

    July 26, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. MikeH

    The Republicans have had 10+ years to saturate media, polling organizations and voting equipment manufacturers with their secret, and not-so-secret operatives (e.g. Diebold, Wall Street Journal,). Polls at this point are being corrupted by these operative in every way untraceable to suppress or distort presentation of opinion contrary to their intent.

    Obama has a mostly terrific international tour (I think the Berlin speech was too much of a circus), while McCain stumbles repeatedly, is caught lying about the surge, and has his essay rejected by a newspaper that endorses his candidacy. Yet the polls show nothing.

    Ignore Opinion Polls for now, and MAKE SURE voting machines are not set up to delete valid Democratic votes and manufacture false Republican votes, as happened in Florida in 2000.

    July 26, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Chris in CA

    Lisa: You just dont' get it, do you?

    July 26, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. DA

    uh Brad....did you miss the fact John McCain did the same thing earlier this year? I swear people can be so out of touch with the news!!! That is why the media should point out that JOHN MCCAIN DID THE SAME THING!!!

    July 26, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Don

    Why is it that Mr. McShame can visit other countries during the democratic primaries, strongly suggests that his Democratic opponent do the same, and then criticize Senator Obama for it.

    Let's face it folks, Senator Obama was going to be criticized for going on this trip regardless. As for the polls results in certain states getting closer, people in this country will swallow what McShame is saying no matter how bad his foreign policies (McSurge, timely withdrawal from Iraqi, win...win...win) and his sudden domestic expertise on the economy seems to be.

    If Barack Obama loses this election, it will only be because people in this country can't bring themselves to vote for a black candidate (he's Muslim, too far to the left, he's arrogant, or he's elitist), even when this country knows that he's the best candidate to improve conditions in this country.

    July 26, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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