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.

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

    Ok I understand this now. You only have to visit the country under abnormal circumstances for a few days and you will become an expert in foreign policy and understand what goes on in the country?
    Right?
    So that would make me an expert in foreign policy because I have visited over 100 countries? Please consider me for the Secretary of State.
    Just because McCaint has visited Afganistan and Iraq under heavy security and has been shown what they wanted him to see does not make him qualified and it wont help Obama much either. What can he learn from a quick trip??

    July 19, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. aware

    Campaigning abroad – how boring!

    You don't really expect Americans to pay attention to this trivia do you?

    The media created and anointed myth, Obama, might make "American Idol" but never president.

    The media and the DNC have overexposed this nauseating guy! 🙁

    Former Democrat for McCain 08! 🙂

    July 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Diane

    Isn't running for president all "about politics?" Aren't McCain's trips, and comments about Obama's trip, and comments about Obama's need to go on a trip, all "about politics?"

    Given Obama's huge popularity overseas, perhaps the trip will have fringe benefits for the American public, and begin to repair the global view that America is narcissist, war-mongering and out of touch with reality.

    July 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Pope, Philadelphia

    If OBAMA goes to the middle east is a PR stunt
    if he doesnt go then he had no clue bout the middle EAST

    what does PUMA tuPAC and the repugs want him to do other than not beat McCAIN like he stole something in november?

    July 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. virginia nielsen

    This man is the best thing that happened in this wonderful country inthe last 30 years !!! Keep on going Senator Obama and bring ours friends back and keep on check on and talking with our "enemies" and mabe they will join us in this race for piece in the 21st century !!! White woman,58 years old for Obama.

    July 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Posn

    I love this this guy..

    July 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. 100 yrs in Iraq

    WHAT??

    """Tough Enough""""???!!!!

    CNN you are worst than fox news!!!!!

    July 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Chuck

    This is a good thing. What I can not understand is how McCain can stand there and slam Obama for not going to Iraq, Afganistan and other countries; then turn around and slam him again for going. Talking about being confusing, McCain can not have it both ways.
    It is also Ironic that the Iraqi PM stated that He fully supports Obama's withdrawal time table and plan, stating it works best for Iraq and the Iraqi people. He further stated that there would be room for adjustment of that time table based upon changing situations.
    So my question is this; who is more in touch, and who is more likely to meet and accomplish those foreign policy goals and needs that bring balance to the needs of America and the world. Indicators is that person is Obama. Especially since Bush now appears to be taking his cue from Obama as far as Afganistan, Iraq and Iran are concerned.

    July 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Jewel - Hallsboro NC

    He is tough enough and he will make a difference.

    July 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. LT for Obama

    McCain is a dangerous risk. He told a group at a fundraiser yesterday that Obama was expected to land in Iraq this weekend. I heard the actual audio on the news last night.

    He was willing to risk the safety of his candidate, be it intentional or a slip, either way, this is a slip up that cannot be tolerated.

    Between this and the lies that he tells daily, McCain and Hillary Supporters for McCain and PUMA need to really look at this man, watch his so-called town hall meetings, do your own research and stop taking all your cues from the media. You will find that your candidate is far less than what he portrays.

    July 19, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. a southern bell for OBAMA

    BE SAFE & COME BACK HOME TO US.

    GOD ALWAYS BLESS & KEEP YOU.

    July 19, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Steve R

    So when more Troops are being killed in Afghanistan, will he set a timetable for that war also?

    Obama is a chump

    McCain is not too much better

    July 19, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Jerry from Oregon

    contrary to what McCain and company have said about Obama's trip to Afghanastan and Iraq Obama was exactly right in laying out his concept of policy in the region before he visits. The US goverment bases US policy decisions on the needs, interests and values of the United States of America.

    Obama laid out what he believes should be the overall US goals and objectives in the regions; specifics could alter the timing a little but the overal objectives and missions need to be defined from the home for interests of the United States.

    the resources of the United States need to be allocated based on the overall interests and ability of the United States, not the perceived needs of commanders serving in foreign countries. Yes, a shrewd commander in chief will listen to the input of these commanders; but a true CIC will set the mission that those commanders are working towards.

    July 19, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Debby, NJ

    Go OBAMA Go
    BARACK THE VOTE AMERICA !!!

    July 19, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Brittany. LA

    Will Michelle be doing any shopping in Kabul? Perhaps some Persian rugs for the Blue Room. Barack Hussein is so brave for going on this trip. Perhaps the Congressional Medal of honor for him.

    July 19, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Steven

    I Know How To Win WARS McCain.
    Lets take our 10 Billion a Month To Afghanistan And Start This Mess
    All Over Again.

    Warmonger McCain Not For President

    July 19, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Former Democrats from California

    Photo op! They can have him....He is a fraud, and will do more harm for the American people if elected...We need Hillary 2012...!

    July 19, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. G. Penley

    Big deal. More publicity and blah-blah-blah to try and cover up Obama's total lack of foreign experience and the fact that he is not qualified to be President.

    July 19, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Steve R

    yeah, and what about that committe he chaired?

    he was not there.....

    just increasing his carbon emissions across this country

    which he can't offset.....however, he will preach about the environment

    he be a chump

    July 19, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. victor

    These obama trip thing has got energized and I dont know why its like when he gives speeches, everyone is talking about cnn fox news cant have enough slamming and critizicing it but still everyone is interested. While mc old is in czecoslovakia sleeping.

    July 19, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. G. Penley

    I hope he takes his wife along and gives her free rein to speak. She's a great Republican.

    July 19, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Generation X

    People around the world want change. NOT THIS TIME Republicans and PUMA nuts!!

    July 19, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Rose

    This trip of Obama's has turned into a three ring circus. I think it is nothing but a huge Grandstand play by Obama. The Pope did not get this much attention, shame on the Media for blowing this out of proportion. Obama calls this a fact finding mission yet he has already laid out his plans, isn't that backward thinking. Without his advisers on foreign policy he is dead in the water. Those leaders in Europe are not stupid, they will see him for what he is. Nothing but a glory seeker who will do and say anything to get elected. By the way, has anyone ever noticed that he thinks he is never wrong?? "To err is human" maybe his is not human.

    July 19, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Dan from Kitchener

    Poor silly old John he forgot the old adage, "Be careful what you asked for you just might get it!".

    Obama's trip will be a new beginning and firmly plant the seeds for a better world under strong leadership from the U.S. as well as helping the country get some of it's moral authority back.

    Likely many Americans don't realize how their country's image abroad is an integral part of their growth and stability for future generations.

    It's hard to sugar coat what John McCain will portray on the world stage with his memory lapses and silly over pronounced grin. " My friends" I just want you to know I am the commander and chief of the U.S. and far above having to discuss anything or negotiate anything because if you don't like what I say or do then I'll kill ya!!!!!

    July 19, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    If McCain could get the crowds, the media attention and the positive reaction from American allies, he would be doing exactly the same thing!!! Jealousy and hypocrisy!!

    McCain's photo ops are all about attacking, smearing and embellishing. He is running as a war vet yet has only released 60 of 600 pages of his record. The voters and the press should be demanding to see all of them!!

    July 19, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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