UPDATE 6 p.m. central time
WASHINGTON--Reports from the London press that presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will arrive in England on July 18 are not accurate, the Sun-Times has learned. Look for him to arrive at a later date. Reports that the Obama overseas trip will be bookended with European stops NOW are not right as I write this.
Based on new intelligence, here's what is shaping up. I have been reporting from a reliable Israeli connected source that Obama is already booking appointments in Israel and will be there July 22 and 23. Stories from French and German news outlets put Obama in France and Germany on July 24 and 25 (those dates may be flipped). That leaves two countries to account for, England and Jordan. Common sense would put a Jordan stop adjacent to the Israeli visit, since the countries are neighbors. So by elimination and logic, that would put London at the end. END UPDATE
END UPDATE 6 P.M CENTRAL
FAIRFAX, VA.—While the Obama campaign is holding tight information about his upcoming international trip, local leaks from foreign capitals keep providing information to fill in his calendar. Asked a few minutes ago at a town hall in this Washington suburb about his pending travels--what message he hopes to send--presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he did not want to say much because "it won't be fresh when I get there."
One point Obama said he wants to make, he said: "The world is in a critical moment."
The London Times is reporting that he is tentatively set to arrive in London on July 18..
This means that the Obama campaign trip is shaping up with European bookends—starting and ending in European capitals with Israel and Jordan in between. Obama’s staffers have been arranging meetings in Israel with former and current high Israeli officials for July 23.
Obama is also going to visit Iraq and Afghanistan as “official” congressional business—perhaps jumping off from this trip since he will be in the region.
The schedule so far, based on my sources and leaks reported in British, French, German and Israeli news outlets:
July 18 London
July 22 and 23 Israel
July 24 France
July 25 Germany