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

Obama begins overseas swing in Afghanistan

Sen. Barack Obama will visit several world leaders over the next few weeks.

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.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Wolf

    It is about time this extraordinarily inexperienced, naiive, arrogant cuss started to learn about which he preaches. Can't trust a word he says so be careful America, cannot trust a person who presents a plan who does not have all the facts. That is ego at it's worst!

    July 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Nancy h

    Does CNN plan to pick up the Reuters story that Maliki is basically in agreement with Obama regarding an eventual pullout - says 16 months sounds about right to him. Guess there is no room for that story given the fact that Angelina is going home from the hospital and Tiger can"t participate in the British open. Oh yes, and we need to hear every rant and quote from Mccain and his surrogates.. I think Maliki is a voice to be heard.

    July 19, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Obama the vote

    Obama is a good man and i am sure he will improve our bad image from the rest of the world.

    If you don't know already, the rest of thw world hates us because of the George W. Bush.

    and McSame is trying to follow his footsteps!

    Way to go McBush! 😦

    July 19, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Isidore Tamo

    This trip was really needed to start improving the US image and standing abroad. The truth remains that we have no business in Irak and we have to go after Al-quaeda in Afganistan. For those who would like to spend 100 years in Irak, let them do it without our resources and our brave women and men in uniform.
    THE US IS BACK AS THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

    July 19, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. KP

    All of the news agencieS and anchors are waiting for Obama to make a "gaf". He's not making this trip to run his mouth. He's making it to listen. A good commander in chief listens intently to what the soldiers and commanders have to say.

    Obama for America and America for Obama!!!

    July 19, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. TEXAN

    May the Lord Bless and watch over him on his trip overseas.
    I do believe that this will be a BIG boost for our troops to see how caring and trustworthy he really is in bring them home soon. I also feel that he will project a positive image to these foregin leaders showing them that the USA will soon have a positive and strong President,. IT'S ALL GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. JohnS

    Everybody seems to be embracing OBAMA Iraq's plan:
    Bush. McCain and now the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
    Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan: report

    BERLIN (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.

    OBAMA has judgement

    July 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Mary WA

    McCain is following Obama lead-so is Bush. Obama has far better judgement and intent. Obama would have gone after Bin Lauden, not oil! It is a travisty to misuse our troops!

    July 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. CELEBRITY-SHIP......

    SEN OBAMA IS ONLY LOOKING TO ACHIEVE CELEBRITY-STATUS AND NOT INTERESTED IN REAL leadership...HAS NO CLUE WHAT IT MEAN TO LEAD OR HOW TO BE RESPONSIBLE; THE PROOF IS IN HIS RECKLESS CAMPPAIGN SPENDING OF ALMOST $300MILLION FOR THE PRIMARIES ONLY....AND SEN OBAMA HAS THE AUDACITY TO RIDICULE SEN MCAINS' SUGGESTION TO AWARD $300MILLION TO INVENT A POWER BATTERY THAT WILL KEEP AMERICAS' CARS AND MACHINERY RUNNING, POLLUTION FREE.........america open your eyes and minds and vote smart come November, 2008...Wise choice is MCCAIN
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. whiner

    let's just hope mccain doesnt keep announcing obama's itinerary to the terrorists in the middle east,like he did yesterday.this is an inexcusable rant from mccain that endangers not only obama ,but,hagel and reed,as well.not to mention the troops and security personnel.mccain has aided and abetted the enemy,in his attempt to attack obama for going overseas ,after 'whining' about his not having taken time from campaigning,to visit these war zones.some one should force mccain to carry duct tape ,so he can keep his big trap shut.cnn wont report this ,but it can be found @ the huffington post.i know you wont post this,cnn,and i find that reprehensible.

    July 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. David Reed

    We have George W. Bush to thank for making an Obama presidency possible. Thanks George!..its probably the only "crime" you shouldn't tried for..(maybe just treason to your own party on this one..)

    July 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Griff

    So I see by your Video's, Borack Obama has 300 "Expert Advisers" on his Team... ""Expert"". Then why have an "Idiot" running for Office like Obama, for the Dems.....

    July 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Deana

    He'll be fine.

    July 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. NotFallingInLine.org

    Excuse me, but how does this trip overseas prove anything other than that he is avoiding townhall meetings, hiding from debating McCain in public as he promised he would, and ducking out on the voters who would like to know something about him now that the supposed leaders of the undemocratic Democratic Party have selected him to be THEIR nominee?

    NOT FALLING IN LINE.

    July 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. NPA

    What compelled John McCain to divulged to a reporter that Obama would be arriving in Afghanistan around Saturday, when protocol clearly dictates that the schedules of US Officials to the region is always secret? Is McCain angry, is he losing his bearings? What is it?

    July 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. sarah

    he should just stay there and fight since his vaunted great judgement tells us they need more help there.

    July 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. totally concur with this quote

    The Democratic National Committee either doesn't get it or refuses to admit it. Nothing short of a lengthy, detailed mea culpa by the DNC and by Obama himself, directed to Clinton supporters for the sexist name-calling and personal, nasty characterizations Clinton was alone forced to endure, will do. Even that may not persuade these voters to consider supporting the party this fall.

    July 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Will, NJ

    Did this 72% ride the short bus to school?

    July 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. totally concur with this quote

    The Democratic National Committee either doesn't get it or refuses to admit it. Nothing short of a lengthy, detailed mea culpa by the DNC and by Obama himself, directed to Clinton supporters for the sexist name-calling and personal, nasty characterizations Clinton was alone forced to endure, will do. Even that may not persuade these voters to consider supporting the party this fall. The DNC, Democratic Party leaders in Congress, and Obama should have been at her side, calling her treatment by the media (and even by some Obama supporters) unacceptable.

    According to most polls, something in the range of 20 to 25 percent of her 18 million supporters say they'll vote for Senator McCain in November. That's 4.5 million votes—too many to take for granted. Yet taking them for granted is just what the party and Obama are doing. When CNN's Candy Crowley asked Obama how he would appeal to disaffected Clinton voters, he missed the mark entirely, giving a standard set of policy proposals.

    July 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. JA Cook

    But when will John McCain get around to making a trip to Czechoslovakia? That's the trip I want to see – so he can demonstrate his international skills and demand that the Soviets get their tanks out.

    July 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. California Gold

    McCain is probably smacking himself upside his head for taunting Senator Obama over this. The media contingency alone must fill a plane. This is what happens when you have a popular front runner in an election. The media will flock and follow. McCain could only muster Lieberman's interest.

    July 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. benvictor

    Frightening. With less tha 4 months until the election, General Obama has landed and in ONE week he will try to gain foreign policy/national security experience and to try to show some semblance of being a commander. Worse, he has 300 foreign policy advisers, and no two of them can agree on anything. Thus, the Obama flip flops. Pray for America.

    July 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. barackobama4prez

    Godspeed Mr. President.

    July 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. terry,va

    Obama knows nothing about running this country. His judgment is terrible. Look at the people he hangs out with. Look at his voting record on issues. He is a socialist at best. When any tough issue comes up he always votes with his party or votes present. He is spineless and will have this country in ruins with socialist policies and and a tuck tail and run military.

    July 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. totally concur with this quote

    We won't know how her supporters will vote until after the general election and its exit polls. Those who sit it out won't even be counted in exit polls. My feeling is just as the MSM underestimated the reaction to anti-Clinton remarks would generate, and the DNC overestimated voters' party loyalty, that no one has a clear read on what comes of all this. The party may have created a miniboom in Republican registration—disaffected Democrats who will never vote for a Democratic candidate again.

    July 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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