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McCain: Obama Lands in Iraq Today or Tomorrow

DETROIT — With Sen. Barack Obama set to embark on a much-anticipated trip to Europe and the Middle East, Sen. John McCain today indicated he may know a bit more than the general public about Obama’s trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. At a fund-raiser at the Detroit Athletic Club, McCain casually dropped this little tidbit before an audience of donors:

"I believe that either today or tomorrow, I am not privy to his schedule, Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators. There will be a congressional delegation and I am sure the Sen. Obama is going to arrive in Baghdad in a much, much safer and secure environment than the one that he would have encountered before we started the surge."

The Obama camp has been mum about the details and timing of his Iraq visit. Nonetheless, the media — and the European public — are buzzing about his trip next week. From Britain’s The Guardian:

"If Obama says he represents a new politics, he’s certainly smashing an old paradigm by going," said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, of Rice university in Texas, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And for 10 days, he’ll own the media. It’s gigantic for him."

There has never been an overseas visit by a presidential candidate as oversubscribed as this one. His campaign team has rejected hundreds of requests not only from foreign journalists but from Americans too. He is taking a pared-down media pack, made up mainly of television crews.

With this much hype surrounding Obama’s visit — and his expected rock star reception in Europe — McCain surely is aware of the significance of his comment. So it was no accident. The information he revealed — though unconfirmed — was not public, and there were reporters within earshot. If Obama is going to "own the media" for 10 days, it certainly would be in McCain’s interest to steal some of Obama’s thunder by removing the element of surprise from Obama’s potential unannounced visit to Baghdad. We’ll be awaiting conformation to see if McCain knows what he’s talking about.

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