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Hagel to Join Obama on Iraq Trip

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), pictured in August, 2007, will accompany Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to Iraq later this year. (Associated Press)

By Jonathan Weisman
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), an opponent of the Iraq war and a dark horse in the campaign to be Barack Obama's running mate, will accompany the presumptive Democratic nominee when he travels to Iraq soon, sources on Capitol Hill and close to the Obama campaign confirmed.

Under congressional rules, an official congressional delegation trip, or CODEL, is supposed to be bipartisan. And because of logistical and security concerns, Obama's trip to Iraq would likely have to be for official Senate business, rather than his presidential campaign. So having Hagel aboard is more than a political coup -- it is a logistical necessity.

Hagel spokesman Jordan Stark and Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer refused to confirm or deny the retiring Nebraska senator's decision.

Hagel is a Vietnam combat veteran and one of the strongest critics of the Bush administration's conduct of the war in Iraq.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 11, 2008; 3:57 PM ET
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Here's an interesting little clip

[The night before presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) left for Afghanistan, Iraq and Western Europe for a tour of US bases overseas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a cable to US missions forbidding them from holding events for presidential candidates or arrange meetings for them.

Rice issued no such cable prior to foreign excursions by presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

In a cable sent late Thursday, according to a copy leaked to the Washington Times, Rice enjoined American diplomats to treat the candidates as "members of Congress visiting in personal or semi-personal capacities," but "with additional restrictions based on rules related to political activity."]

So is this an official congressional delegation or not - if McCain & Co travels all is good, if Obama does same, treat him like dirt?

Congi is a "horrible", "horrible" person!

Posted by: al | July 21, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

If you love paperless touch-screen voting machines, you'll love Chuck Hagel. He failed to properly disclose his ownership in the voting machine company that counted his votes when he took office. He was on the board of director, was the CEO, and had up to a $5 million stake in Election Systems & Software (ES&S), one of the most problematic voting machine companies in the nation. Google this, please.

Posted by: Black Box Voting | July 13, 2008 1:26 AM | Report abuse

If Gen. Powell were making the trip with Obama then that would be HUGE news.

Good to have Hagel in Obama's corner though. I'm guessing that he campaigns with Hagel to reduce need for nat'l security credentials for his favored VP candidate, Gov Sebelius.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 12, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Anybody but Hillary!

Posted by: RealChoices | July 12, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess they are going together to learn all about terrorists because they failed Terrorism 101.

VJ Machiavelli

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | July 12, 2008 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Chuck Hagel inspires so much excitement that a whopping eleven posts have been made to this article not counting this one. Don't wait by the phone Chuck at 3:00am or anytime for an offer from Barack Obama

Posted by: danielhancock | July 12, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama and Jack Reed,

Hagel does not seem right. Hagel may bring him more political benefit but the idea of having a Republican President if Obama should not survive his term is a turn off.

I think Reed is also going to Iraq.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 11, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

"obama is going nascar"

Sounds like one of George Carlin's "combination of words you'll never hear." Like - "Hand me that piano."

Posted by: Chuckamok | July 11, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

wow, well played- obama has got chops. hagel in the cabinet yes, but not vp- pelosi or webb for that post.

Posted by: jacade | July 11, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA/HAGEL 2008...oh what a dream ticket that would be.

I an OBAMaCAN and this would confirm my believe in Obama a man committed to change.

Change we belive in.

Go Obama/Hagel

Posted by: Knoxville Ned | July 11, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I am a true Dem. but, I would love to see Hagel run with our guy. Of course the the REP. would tell us all how terrible he is. If your not with them, THEY are against you. Go Hagel.

Posted by: medleys | July 11, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama / Hagel 2008.

That would give republicans fits. And go a long way towards bipartisanship, as long as you are anti-war, anti-Bush/McCain.

Let's do it!!!

Posted by: jeffp | July 11, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Best news I heard lately. I was hoping he would have Gen. Clark (I hope VP}with him. Hagel being a Rep. will be better because he has been there and knows the country and the General. Also Gen P. is now in charge of the whole Mideast and will now have to look at the big picture. He got his extra stars and will now have to earn them.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Go Obama...get an anti-war Republican on the ticket. Heck get anybody but Hillary.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | July 11, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I am not so sure if having Senator Chuck Hagel going with him to Iraq is such a coup. He was probably the only Republican who would consent to go with Barack Obama so that he could meet the bi-partisan travel requirment. Hagel faced a tough primary and opted out.

Hagel is somewhat of a legend in his own mind and was the subject of many rumors that never amounted to anything. First it was Hagel was going to run for the GOP nomination for president. Then it was Hagel was going to run as an independent. Next it was that Hagel was going be the running mate of NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg on an independent ticket. Now the rumor is that he is going to run with Obama. This rumor will fade like the others have.

If Obama hitches his star to Hagel then he is not as smart as I give him credit for. It will not even help him in Nebraska

Posted by: danielhancock | July 11, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

obama is going nascar...

no kidding...

Posted by: tomabrahams | July 11, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Hagel '08???

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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