Obama plans foreign policy tour later this summer

As a means to sure up his foreign policy credentials, the Obama campaign is planning somewhat of a world tour this summer with visits to many nations around the world. The goal, of course, is to show that Obama does indeed have the foreign policy credentials and charisma needed to be Commander-in-Chief.

Story from USAToday:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama plans to visit the Middle East and Europe this summer, taking time off from campaigning in the United States in an effort to boost his foreign policy credentials.

Obama’s campaign told The Associated Press the likely nominee will travel to Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The Illinois senator also has said he intends to visit Iraq and Afghanistan this summer; his campaign would not say whether those stops would be part of the trip to the Mideast and Europe.

“This trip will be an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face,” Obama said in a statement. “This will be an important opportunity to have an exchange of views with leaders in these countries about these and other issues that are critical to American national security — and global security — in the 21st century.”

The campaign also would not disclose the dates of any of the plans in an attempt to protect Obama’s security. Obama’s campaign manager said this past week that Iraq and Afghanistan would be part of an official congressional trip. The other stops are part of a campaign-funded visit.

It is unusual for a presidential candidate to travel internationally so close to Election Day, especially in a closely fought campaign. Obama had considered such a trip last year, but the competitive primary with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made it too risky to spend time away from early primary states.

It may be unusual, however, I think it’s a necessity since McCain’s biggest card will be the lack of Obama’s foreign policy experience. Seems to me the idea will be to show Obama as a type of world leader just months before the election. I’m betting the McCain camp will also be planning something similar. However, McCain might take that opportunity to campaign freely in the US and perhaps attack Obama for being more concerned with world affairs or some such political rhetoric.