July 19th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama begins overseas swing in Afghanistan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/07/18/obama.trip/art.obama.thurs.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama will visit several world leaders over the next few weeks."] (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is in Afghanistan on a multistop overseas trip for meetings with international leaders but with an eye on the U.S. presidential race back home.

Obama's trip, which includes visits to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, is intended to bolster his foreign policy credentials before U.S. voters.

"This is the campaign trail via satellite - pictures for the rhetoric back home," CNN's Candy Crowley said, adding that the trip was intended to demonstrate that Obama was up to the job of taking a lead role on the international stage.

"The question is, is he tough enough to stand up for America but graceful enough to improve [its] image?" Crowley said.

In a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, 48 percent of registered voters said Obama would make a good commander in chief, compared with 72 percent for his Republican rival, John McCain.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. not a first

    Not the first time a Senator travled to Iraq–McCain been there many times - Photo Op - something they all do.

    Wouldn't it be good if the next president was ready on day 1.

    Obama has a lot of work to do to prep for his new job.

    Everybody was yelling for Clinton to give up when she had the lead in popular votes–why doesn't McCain throw in the towel already and vote to Save America?

    July 19, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. zolesh

    Griff.Don't be a hater.Give Obama a chance to salvage what is left of this economy after 8 long years of bad management.

    A chance to improve America's standing in the world.A chance to bring our troops home.

    Obama 08.God bless the Democratic party and God bless this nation of WHINNERS!

    July 19, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Cynthia

    Do America proud Senator Obama.

    July 19, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Jeanette

    Godspeed to Senator Obama!
    I have no doubt he'll knock their socks off!!

    July 19, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. CAW in MD

    Wow "Dems are stuck in the mess they rigged", are you really that clueless? It's called a "campaign". You should look up the term sometime. It means to go out and convince voters that they should vote for you. As for the $300 million, presumably none of that is your money, so what do you care how he spends it?

    I'll even give you a dollar if you can produce a single proven, verified instance of Obama "cheating his way into power". Just one. I'll wait...

    July 19, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. what are you thinking?

    Rebecca From Toledo, Ohio July 19th, 2008 11:40 am ET

    Does Obama think we are all stupid?? He is ONLY doing this as a
    PR stunt. He dosen't know diddley about foreign affairs. I hope he leaves his wife at home so she dosen't get up and make one of her stupid speeches.

    no pumpkin...i think WE just think your stupid along with PUMA.

    July 19, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Puma-SF

    Obama is not qualified to be president and there is no way he will win in the fall. He is nothing more then an empty suit lying hypocrite. Do you people realize that he is not the person you were brainwashed into blindly following. He has reversed his stance on everything that should have been important to you. Anyone still supporting him has junk for brains.

    I believe in Democracy but unfortunately you will not find it in the Democratic Party.

    Puma Power

    July 19, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Eric-PA

    I can't believe this is ONLY his first trip to Afghanistan. What a disgrace. You know he's doing this for political reasons only.

    July 19, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Bill in San Jose

    Crowley needs to worry about her own image (and her journalism skills), not Barack Obama. What an incredible time to be alive!

    July 19, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Howard in Kirkland

    I wish the idiots in this blog and every other blog that has to do with the election process would stop referring to Senator Obama as "President".

    He hasn't even been nominated yet and you idiots are referring to him as your crowned leader.

    Give me a break. He is referred to as either Mr. Obama or Senator Obama, and that it.

    July 19, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Diing in Washington

    Why in God's name would Senator McCain leak Senator Obama's arrival in Iraq this weekend? Why?, why?, and why would a reasonable person in his right mind do?

    July 19, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Tom

    Its good that the Prime Minister of Iraq has publicly supported President Obama's foreign policy on troop withdrawal. They will have to work very closely together over the next few years to pull Iraq out of the trashcan that Bush has put it in.

    July 19, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. rob

    Thanks to the Surge and our troops in Iraq, the Iraq Govt can ask for combat troop reductions and eventual withdrawl. Obama and his media groupies will be all over this to try to take credit for what has already been done without having to SURRENDER first.

    It is truely scary that Obama, the media and his supporters are so naive as to think that this completely unproven, untested and inexperienced person will somehow make the world change. All he has to do is show up and they will all Love us again. When he is elected he can ATTACK Pakistan!!! to get Bin Laden and all the terrorists will just lay down their arms and the "phonie war on terrorism" (asthey call it) will be over.

    At least lets make Obama answer tough questions about his policy ideas so the voters can see who he really is; I think they will make the level headed choice and not elect him President.

    July 19, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. obama 08-12

    Most of people around the world cannot wait to see obama in the white house, read european,asian or african newspapers via internet or chat with the people overseas ask them how the feel about this guy. barack obama is the only candidate who can repair american image abroad,vote for change or keep the statu quo going and keep on complaining about high gas price,jobs losses and the list goes on and on...

    July 19, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. txgal44

    This trip will show those countries what's great about America. Barack Obama is a intelligent, thoughtful and honest man. He'll do us proud.
    Go get em' Obama!!! AMERICA IS WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!!

    July 19, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Tim, Tampa

    Don't be jealous McBush lovers, aka dodo birds. At least he knows wherehe is and who he's visiting. Unlike McSame ( let me see, is it sunni or shiite?). The Mcbush sham is over. Time for believable leadership.

    July 19, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Tim, Tampa

    Don't be jealous McBush lovers, aka dodo birds. At least he knows where he is and who he's visiting. Unlike McSame ( let me see, is it sunni or shiite?). The Mcbush sham is over. Time for believable leadership.

    July 19, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Monica for Obama from Indiana – all thumbs up! To Rebecca from Toledo – it is good you do not speak for all of us.

    July 19, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. shape shifters unite

    O barack what did we do before u whom ever u r. Talk is like the wind here now there later what ever u say I have solid doubts National Health Care maybe in 4or8 years u know there is no $$$ now we r in serious times I would like to say ok but your boosters keep slipping under that big ol bus of yours. here today there tomorrow once your in and thats a strong maybe whom will they blame O Hillary O Bill Obama not him he is not a mere mortal we will see 4 yrs from now we will see........

    July 19, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. M.S. Indiana

    CELEBRITY-SHIP......, the choice for the republicans are Ron Paul !!! Operation chaos worked both way, you got the weaker candidate, he already lost before trying to become president, and the Dems got the better choice and are winning in all polls...

    July 19, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. smile

    REBECCA, Ohio you low life....plain jealous of the intelligence that Mrs Obama has and displays?

    Obama is King....another low life simple mind repugnant

    RJ, CA....another one....please read and be informed...a chartered jet by the OBAMA campaign....and we gladly pay for it...the CONTRIBUTORS

    Dave, Illinois....boy, another one.....I might as well group them all

    Lisa....intelligence lisa, intelligenge...which you for obvious trasons LACK

    Democrats have forgotten their own ideals.....and what do you think you piece of s..t has been doing?.....sleeping.....STFU

    SUPERMAN...ZOOM....boy, my list of repugnants is getting silly!

    Amerika the beautiful....haven´t you heard the saying? LOVE YOURSELF FIRST and THEN OTHERS.....and learn how to spell

    tim.....and your candidate wouldn´t even qualify as a beer salesman.....no brains.....poor guy

    Wolf.....another idiot just blogged....STFU

    CELEBRITY-SHIP......brainless comment...feel sorry for you

    July 19, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. P. U. M. A. 4 HILL

    What an arrogant opportunist. He and his thugs can kiss my butt!!! He wants to now go to Afghanistan and as Hillary pointed out months ago he should have been working what he was elected for and done something as head of the oversight hearings on Afghanistan. But NOPE, he's been too busy raising money to run for the leader of America.

    This guy is creepy to say the least. He doesn't speak for this American and he has no record to prove he can accomplish anything. "Just words".. words you can Xerox.

    No way is Obama fit to lead this great nation. He's hardly an American himself.

    Go away you and your thug losers... won't forget how your money and bullies cheated your way in the caucuses.

    July 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. what are you thinking?

    Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged July 19th, 2008 12:30 pm ET

    To Obama supporters:

    If Obama will win in a landslide… why do you need to keep blogging to defend and promote him?

    Why does he keep ON campaigning? Why does he need to spend MORE and MORE money?

    AmeriKa is ready for change, right? The republican brand is out of favor- so that the LEAST democrat is better than the MOST republican.
    Democrats don't have to worry… no one wants another republican.

    So, what is the hang up for Obama? Why is he still pandering for EVERY vote?

    Isn't cheating his way into power working out as well as hoped and expected?

    Where is this landslide in this year when NO democrat can lose. Obama should be winning just by carrying the "democrat" label… but instead he needs to waste millions on self-promotion.
    what part of YES WE CAN dont yuou get?

    July 19, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Jennifer

    To the person spelling America with a "k" above and questioning why Obama continue to campaign if he will win by a landslide all I have to say is that situations change. Opponents attack and if you don't respond you get hurt. I have confidence that Obama will do well even fantastic if he is elected but I know there are people like you who would do anything to prevent that. So I work hard to get him elected because I beleive it is the best thing for our country.

    July 19, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Colin -- Southern California

    Our nation would make a rebound if Obama is our next president. I hope the media and my fellow voters can stay focused on the issues that most directly and most profoundly affect human life here in our country and around the world, rather than become distracted by relatively minor issues (such as, for example, whether or not states can decide if homosexuals can get marriage benefits).

    Responses to other comments:

    Publicity stunt? McCain has mocked Obama for not making such a trip! Also, a responsible, sincere candidate would make the trip.

    Why is Obama still campaigning? LOL! Bush got elected a second time, despite his lack of leadership after 9/11 and despite initiating a war with Iraq! Also, look at McCain's current support; it's only 5% less than Obama's right now. People still don't connect the Republican party with *everything* wrong about practical living conditions (banking woes, gas prices, terror/paranoia levels, etc). That's the ongoing challenge Obama faces, all the way up to election day. It's easy to spread rumors and create distractions, but it's expensive to inform people and correct misconceptions, and this is why Obama will probably have to outspend McCain by 2 to 1 all the way to election day.

    And regarding "the new guy" analogy someone made: Sometimes the enthusiastic, eager "new guy" in the office proves to be a person who turns things around and gives the company new energy and success for the long term.

    Regarding the "phony" charges: Phony about what? Obama has integrity. Obama is on a trip to get a closer look at circumstances in different countries, just as he said he would. In general, Obama has made every effort to do the right thing in accordance with evolving conditions. Sometimes this means changing plans and making compromises, but always with the goal of doing what is best.

    July 19, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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