The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Reed, Hagel to Join Obama on Iraq Trip

By Perry Bacon Jr.
SAN DIEGO -- Offering a few more details on his upcoming overseas trips, Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that he would not insist on speaking at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, as German officials have raised concerns about a potential speech at that location.

"We have been trying to coordinate with the folks on the ground in terms of finding an appropriate site, but we didn't have a particular site in mind," he told reporters on his plane on the way to Chicago, although campaign officials also confirmed the Bradenburg Gate has been a location under consideration.

"I want to make sure that my message is heard, as opposed to creating a controversy, so our goal is jut for me to lay out how I think about the next administration's role in rebuilding our trans-Atlantic alliance, so I don't want the venue to be a distraction," Obama said. "What I want to do is just work with folks on the ground to find some place that is appropriate."

As for his planned to Iraq, Obama noted that not only would GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel join him, but so would another veteran, Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island. All three senators have called for reducing the number of troops in Iraq.

"They're both experts on foreign policy, they reflect I think a traditional bipartisan wisdom when it comes to foreign policy, neither of them are ideologues but they try to get the facts right and make a determination about what's best for U.S. interests and they're good guys," he said.

Posted at 11:39 AM ET on Jul 13, 2008
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Alot of folks posting comments here have an ugly misguided view of the world. they create polarities of hatred, a "us against them" mentality; they actualy believe that oneside of the political fence is so opposed to the other that they will stop at nothing to use slander, distorted facts, and outright lies to futher their biases and short-sighted view of the world, when in all actuality the differences between the two political parties is really so small in reality that alot of this posturing acts as nothing more than a smoke screen to keep our eye off the ball of the corporations that bought and sold america a long time ago.

so, with this being said, both you democrats and republicans keep on throwing manure over the fence at yourselves. the rest of us human beings will look on and take a deep breath and look inward at ourselves and contemplate what will we do to make ourselves as individuals better.

Posted by: rule of thumb, oregon | July 14, 2008 6:40 PM

For all the Obama bashers perhaps instead of taking the knee-jerk reaction (true,true, it is a CONDITIONED RESPONSE in all conservatives to do) that Obama is incapable of making the trip by himself perhaps they should do a bit of reading outside their comfort zones and realize that BOTH of these men (good honest vets) are in heavy consideration for the V.P. spot (yes, Hagel is in the running too) and this trip will aloow Obama to get two very different but very honest opinions of the state of affairs in Iraq, which is obviously improving, but does not yet have a happy ending (all unfurled Mission Accomplished banners aside).

Posted by: mynamesyow | July 14, 2008 5:49 PM

This shows that Obama is incapable of visiting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by himself. He lacks the balls to do it and has to be guided by Reed and Hagel. What a loser. He isn't fit to be commander-in-chief.

Posted by: Steve | July 14, 2008 1:49 PM

Alright, conservatives crawl back into your cave and accept the inevitable - Barack Obama will be the next President of the U.S. People are simply tired of being rule by a GOP administration composed, for the most part, of nothing but liars and criminals. Real Americans are not going to accept defeat of our march into freedom. McSame is not going to keep us tied to the same tired, old GOP philosophy of enriching the wealthy at the expense of the vast American middle class and poor. Every problem we have today can be traced back to the failed policies of the seven and a half year Bush Administration. Just the name "Bush" makes my skin crawl. Of course, the simple question of whether you are better off now than 8 years ago answers the essential question posed.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 14, 2008 11:20 AM

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Posted by: wb8tyg9sn5 | July 14, 2008 3:46 AM

We need change!

Posted by: Jay | July 14, 2008 1:33 AM

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Posted by: dylou64q55 | July 13, 2008 10:30 PM

Barack Hussein Obama, US President. F*cking Wrong.

Posted by: Jerry | July 13, 2008 10:15 PM

From Leon Panetta's walnut trees to Barack Obama's nuts; from 9-11 to the price of gasoline at the pump; from illegal immigration to the mortgage meltdown. Don't ask why; ask instead why not? It's all politics, American style:

Posted by: Peggy McGilligan | July 13, 2008 6:25 PM

I think the Obama team may have reservations about picking Hilary as veep, but the reality is she's his best insurance policy to the whitehouse, no doubt. If the American people can elect dubya for a second term although it was clear he got us into a war by deception and lies, well...Obama can't take a chance because he's not your typical candidate.

Posted by: Phil | July 13, 2008 5:24 PM

In defense of "Inexperience Rules!?"

There are 100 Senators in the U.S. Senate.

It's a Fact, if you don't like facts then you shouldn't vote. You should only vote based on Facts not comments by a "man" that doesn't even make sense.

McCain is only 1% of the U.S. Senate's voting power or didn't you know that?

Got your back "Inexperienced Rules!?"

McCain 08'

Posted by: Reality | July 13, 2008 4:55 PM

Inexperience rules!?

McCain's 1 in 100 amd You are 1 in 300 Mill, so whos'd listening to you.

Idea, if such an un-imaginable amount of people are idiots in this country then maybe just maybe you are the idiot.

just a thought

Posted by: rayovac | July 13, 2008 4:27 PM

...neither of them are ideologues... Much as I admire Senator Obama, he should brush up his grammar.

Posted by: nickwib | July 13, 2008 4:05 PM

Did I read the news correct?!?! Obama has NEVER in his F'in life been to Afganistan!?!?! WTF is he thinking!?

I guess it's better to experience on foreign countries just 3 or 4 months before you're elected has the 44th President of the U.S.A.

WHAT THE HELL ARE PEOPLE THINKING!!! The guy thinks it's McCain's fault that he only has 1% of the voting power in the 100 Member Senate! What an idiot! I guess in his inexperience of the Senate he forgot that McCain is 1 of 100 Senators in the Senate!

Anyone who votes for Obama is an idiot and does NOT deserve to be in America!

McCain 08' & Clinton 12'

Posted by: Inexperience rules!? | July 13, 2008 4:02 PM

Tell us more about Jack Reed.

Posted by: HM | July 13, 2008 4:00 PM

Iraq is the perfect place for Necons to end Obama's run for President Im sure the good old boys are hard at work planning the 'attack'. lol

Posted by: The end | July 13, 2008 3:33 PM

QT: You really need to get over it. Hillary was the victim of her own complacency in that she saw herself as the annointed Democratic candidate. That she failed to anticipate a strong campaign run by Obama reflects on her preparedness for office.

To remain relevant, she needs to assert herself in the Senate. If she can become Senate leader, she can pretty much control the legislation that will be sent up for Obama's approval.

With her skills, she could go down as one of the best Senate leaders in history as long as acts for the good of the country. If she narrows her focus just on what's good for the Democratic party or worse, what's good for her, she will go down as one of the poorest.

Posted by: jahlen | July 13, 2008 3:25 PM

I think these two guys would make excellent VP choices. Hagel is someone I have a good deal of respect for. That's more than I can say for McCain. As far as this trip goes, I think it would be a good idea for him to go and meet not only the generals but also the Iraqi leadership. I think this might lead to an even quicker time table on getting out of Iraq than even Obama imagined. Then we can work on issues in this country that have been long neglected under the Bush/McCain policies.

Posted by: Jake | July 13, 2008 3:14 PM

Mike from Reno, there's a very good possibility that McCain may not even win the state of Nevada. Democratic registration is up 50,000 more than the Republicans.
Plus the fact that Ron Paul has a large support here in the state. McCain didn't even win the caucaus. The state is divided on Paul and McCain, enough so that Obama could win this state.

Posted by: cvc | July 13, 2008 3:01 PM

Darn my heart soared when I read the headline that a Senator Reid was going to accompany Obama to Iraq but alas it is another Senator Reed, Jack Reed.

Senator Harry Reid is going to be replaced in Nevada in the 2010 election like George McGovern and Tom Daschle before him.

Senator Reid is becoming the black hole for Democrats seeking national office if they need to win votes in Nevada. It is highly likely that the animus toward Harry Reid will deliver Nevada to McCain this November.

Reid's many statements criticizing our young men and women while they are in the field fighting in Iraq to defend America are considered outrageous and cowardly by the citizens of Nevada. Senator Reid is widely referred to as "Benedict Arnold Reid" and "Tokyo Reid" by the radio media all through out Nevada.

It would be wonderful to see video clips and pictures of Harry Reid and Barak Obama speaking from Iraq trying to explain how the victory that is now apparent and at hand in the Iraq war is really defeat.

Senator Obama please please bring "I voted for the war before I voted against the war," John Kerry and our soon to be former Senator Reid too.

Posted by: Mike form Reno Nevada | July 13, 2008 2:43 PM

Hagel's significance cannot be under estimated. First, he provides an assurance that joey lieberman cannot make unreasonalbe demands on dems by threatening to caucus with the rethugs, thus, shifting control of the senate to the hopeless gang of bush enablers. Surely, if there were not Hagel or some other moderate repub (or Specter or Smith) then joey would be threatening to play his trump card. Hagel nullifies that threat and may allow the dems to throw joey under the bus sooner rather than later. Surely, if he speaks at the rethug convention (remember zell miller) he'll be toast and may as well switch parties now.

Posted by: AtlBill | July 13, 2008 2:15 PM

Obama/Hagel? LOL

McCain/Hillary? Now THAT's a winning ticket!

Hillary Clinton remains the most qualified and most electable candidate in the race. Hillary has already won the popular vote and has won MORE votes than ANY candidate of ANY party in history! Wow! Let's give credit where credit is long overdue!

Come on Dems, wise up and shake off that losing mentality, throw Obama under the crowded bus and nominate Hillary at the ACTUAL DNC convention when the ACTUAL vote is taken in Denver in late August at the DNC convention.

Hillary is a WINNER!!! Obama is a LOSER, he's unqualified and unelectable.

It's Hillary or McCain. Country first, party second.

Posted by: QT | July 13, 2008 1:55 PM

Good selection. Biden might have been a good choice to go as well but what is noteworthy is Hillary was not asked. Hopefully this is evidence she won't be chosen to run as VP. In case anyone wonders why Hillary would be a terrible choice go to

Posted by: Philip Meyer | July 13, 2008 1:30 PM

Oh, by the way, McCain offered to go with Obama to Iraq.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 13, 2008 1:28 PM

Let's face it. Hagel was added to the trip so the group would be bi-partisan so the cost can be charged to Congress instead of being paid for by Barack Obama's campaign. He was probably the only Republican who would consent to this because he is a lame duck and has nothing to lose,

If Hagel feels like he is going to get the time of day from Obama as far as being the vice-presidential nominee after this trip is over then he is living in a dream world.

He is basically being used to facilitate an Obama photo op in Iraq.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 13, 2008 1:27 PM

I would love to see Chuck Hegal run as Obama's running mate. He would also make a great Secretary of Defense.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 13, 2008 1:15 PM

Obama for president> Republicans get over it.

Posted by: Mel | July 13, 2008 1:06 PM

If you have ANY evidence Joe Biden wanted to go on this trip, then please sight a source.

Posted by: You too, Jack | July 13, 2008 1:01 PM

You need to sight your sources when make such allegations. Heck, I'll even accept a Fox news link. Anything. Otherwise....

Posted by: Steve? | July 13, 2008 12:58 PM

This phony is beyond belief. Biden already has developed a plan for Iraq and is also chair of the Foreign Relation Committee, but he's a Democrat. The problem is Barry the panderer wants someone from the GOP with him. Every move he makes is based upon politics. Loyalty means nothing as long as he accumulates more votes. The politics of change.

Posted by: Jack Straw | July 13, 2008 12:57 PM


How do you know that Obama threw Biden under the bus? Did Mr. Biden complain? I was an early Biden supporter and think that if he wanted to be on this trip, he would have clearly made that wish apparent. He said that he would do whatever Obama asked of him. I see no evidence that Biden was dissed. Do you?

Posted by: Laura, Oregon | July 13, 2008 12:51 PM

Expertise????? Is he ignoring/throwing Joe Biden under his bus? (yes Joe, the only Congressman to ever have a plan for Iraq and chair of the Foreign Relatin Committee).

Poor judgment by Obama, over and over again!!!!!

Posted by: Steve | July 13, 2008 12:29 PM

"I want to make sure that my message is heard, as opposed to creating a controversy" - you've already created a controversy, Barackie. Just like putting your kids on some tabloid TV show and then saying "geez, maybe I shouldn't have done that". And saying you'll order a troop withdrawal from day 1, but then wasting the time and jet fuel to go to Iraq to consult with the generals on the ground. Get over yourself already.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2008 12:25 PM

By campaigning with Sens. Hagel and Reed, Sen. Obama reduces the need for his VP to have national security credentials. That'll be even more true when Gen. Powell endorses Obama. That could be good news for Gov. Sebelius.

On the other hand, it does occur to me that the more conservatives continue their 'Operation Chaos' false worship of Sen. Clinton, the more likely it is that she becomes a real potential VP candidate.

How can McCain and his surrogates attack Hillary as VP after they have kissed up to her for months.

And, make no mistake, if she is in the WH, she and Bill will pull out their enemies list and get REVENGE. And they know how to use power.

Be careful what you conservatives 'ask' for. You very well may get it.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 13, 2008 12:14 PM

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