Sunday, March 16, 2008

McCain In Iraq

Senator McCain, the Republican's presidential candidate to be, is in Iraq meeting with U.S. and Iraqi officials, including Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq.

McCain is also scheduled to visit London, Paris, Jordan, and Israel this week, where he will meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Jordan's King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In London, McCain also plans to meet with Stavros Dimas, the European Union's commissioner for the environment, a leading advocate of combating global warming.

Visiting Iraq and world leaders allows McCain to highlight his foreign policy credentials while Hillary and Obama continue their nasty battle of political oneupmanship fighting for the Democratic nomination.

"For McCain, the visual of being seen with world leaders, talking about the great issues facing us while Obama and Clinton are pounding each other in Altoona and Wilkes Barre is great," said independent analyst Charlie Cook, publisher of the Cook Political Report, referring to two cities in Pennsylvania, which holds a presidential primary on April 22.
McCain, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is accompanied on the fact-finding trip by Connecticut's Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. McCain will reimburse the federal government for the political aspects of the trip, including his airfare back to the U.S.

Photo credit: Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/U.S. Air Force, via Associated Press.

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