Obama European, Mideast trip taking more shape: staff setting up meetings with Israeli offiicals. UPDATES

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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


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





Obama’s impossible road ahead:


I hope Obama will make his European stops at the beginning or end of his trip. That way he could take the high speed trains between Berlin and Paris and maybe the Chunnel train between Paris and London. It would be a wonderful learning experience. We need to find better ways to move people between cities within 600 miles of each other. High speed rail might be the answer. Eisenhower started the interstate highway system after seeing the autobahn in Germany after WWII.

Who cares who the Europeans prefer ... if it was up to France, our next President would be Jerry Lewis. How about focusing on who has the experience, judgement and character to protect us and bring prosperity to Americans ... not someone who in the eleventh hour, finally tries to establish foreign policy credentials, in a one week visit, as a transparent political ploy to get himself elected. Where was Obama, when he was supposed to chair the congressional committee on Afghanistan, and never had a single meeting. Why did Obama vote 'present' over 100 times in the senate? Even if he manages a political rally in the Roman Coliseum, he's still just an inexperienced politician, who is not qualified to be President of the United States of America !!!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 10, 2008 1:33 PM.

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