Obama’s world tour visits Iraq (Update)

Obama has made it to Iraq during his world tour and news has been coming out on a daily basis.

Report on the latest from Yahoo News:

BAGHDAD – Face to face with Iraq’s leaders, Barack Obama gained fresh support Monday for the idea of pulling all U.S. combat forces out of the war zone by 2010. But the Iraqis stopped short of actual timetables or endorsement of Obama’s pledge to withdraw American troops within 16 months if he wins the presidency.

The Democratic presidential contender also got a military briefing — and a helicopter tour — from the top U.S. commander in the region, Gen. David Petraeus, and he met with a few of the nearly 150,000 U.S. troops now well into the war’s sixth year.

Back in the U.S., Republican rival John McCain said he hoped Obama’s visit would open his eyes to the danger of withdrawal timetables. Said the Arizona senator, who was meeting with President Bush’s father, the former president, in Maine: “When you win wars, troops come home.” He said of Obama: “He’s been completely wrong on the issue.”

In Washington, the White House expressed displeasure with recent public comments by Iraqi leaders on the withdrawal question and suggested they might have the U.S. election on their minds.

As Obama visited Iraq for the first time in more than two years, comments Monday by the nation’s government spokesman roughly mirrored the Illinois senator’s withdrawal schedule and offered a glimpse of Iraq’s growing confidence as violence drops and Iraqi security forces expand their roles.

“We are hoping that in 2010 that combat troops will withdraw from Iraq,” spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said after Obama met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — who has struggled for days to clarify Iraq’s position on a possible timetable for a U.S. troop pullout.

Iraq’s Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, said after meeting Obama that Iraqi leaders share “a common interest … to schedule the withdrawal of American troops.”

Video report from ABC News:

So far this tour has certainly helped Obama on the foreign policy side of things.


The Washington Post is reporting that McCain will make an unscheduled visit to Louisiana to meet with Bobby Jindal, here’s the story:

John McCain will huddle with vice presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal during a trip to New Orleans later this week, sources close to the campaign confirm to The Fix.
VP Watch

McCain’s trip to Louisiana on Wednesday was the cause of much head scratching in the political world as it was not in keeping with a week of planned stops in battleground states.

But, the meeting with Jindal, who has been the state’s governor since 2007, suggests that McCain himself is deeply engaged in the process of picking his second-in-command and that the youthful Jindal is under serious consideration.

Jindal, at 37, is widely regarded within the Republican party nationally as one of its rising stars and has been touted as the best choice for vice president by a variety of party luminaries ranging from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) to talk radio celebrity Rush Limbaugh.

Jindal could prove to be a little better than Romney considering he’d bring in the youthful appeal and the staunch conservative credentials, of which McCain is sorely lacking both.

Nothing concrete, more this week as it develops.