July 18th, 2008
02:14 PM ET

What would be a successful trip overseas for Obama?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama's trip to Europe and the Middle East could be a game-changer in this election. The pollsters at Gallup say his highly publicized international trip could "have the potential to change the structure of the race."

Experts agree that the stakes are very high. The trip has been planned to put Barack Obama into settings where we usually see presidents – things like formal meetings with foreign leaders, public speeches and visits to historical sites.

While Obama has been highly critical of the Bush administration here at home, one analyst says he'll have to tread lightly overseas, "Criticizing foreign policy in Washington is one thing. Criticizing it in Berlin is another.”

Obama leads Republican John McCain in the polls, but he still needs to convince a lot of Americans that he has the foreign policy chops to fill the role of commander-in-chief. One recent poll shows 48% of voters say Obama would make a good commander-in-chief, compared to 72% who feel that way about McCain. And you can bet the Republicans will be looking to pounce on any errors.

Obama will get intensive media coverage – the kind usually reserved for heads of state. And it's expected he'll get rock-star-like receptions from crowds wherever he goes. People overseas have been fascinated with Obama almost from the beginning. If he makes a good impression over there, it will likely do him a world of good over here.

After eight years of the cowboy diplomacy of President Bush, more than 70% of Americans think the U.S. is less respected in the world than it used to be. Barack Obama could begin to fix that.

Here’s my question to you: What would constitute a successful trip overseas for Barack Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Julie from Louisiana writes:
It will be a success when we see Senator Obama representing us abroad and feel a sense of pride in our leadership instead of embarrassment.

Kent from Illinois writes:
It is a given that the crowds will be unbelievably large. It may be enough attention to awaken blue collar voters here in the U.S.

Tony from Louisville, Kentucky writes:
It would be a successful trip if he stayed there.

Jed from Redding, California writes:
Let's consider the last two overseas trips by our fearless Republican leaders. We have President George W. Bush turning the G8 summit into an international kegger then we have McCain's last trip to the Middle East where he has Joe Lieberman tapping him on the shoulder every 5 minutes to remind him that what he just said about Iran, Iraq and Al Qaeda has no basis in reality. After those two Obama has a fairly easy task: Go there, do stuff, come back and don't be stupid.

J.D. writes:
I can't imagine what might constitute an unsuccessful trip. He'll meet with world leaders, attract massive crowds and capture the world's heart. Somewhere John McCain is sticking pins in an Obama voodoo doll.

Lisa writes:
Barack Obama will have a successful trip by just showing up. Hell, after eight years of Bush, the people overseas will be thrilled to finally have an intelligent conversation.

Jerry from Tulsa, Oklahoma writes:
Jack, The mainstream media is traveling with Barack and will soon tell us what constituted a successful Obama overseas trip, after the tingling in their leg subsides.

Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. J, Maryland

    Getting back home safely.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    If comes away with the trust of Europeans. He must show his openess and show his cosmopolitan side. He must NOT come across as aggogant or as an Amero-centrist.

    Most of all he must show that America is willing to be a partner and not a leader especially in decision-making that effects the rest of the world.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  3. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,this whole trip is a political rock opera starring Obama and the three stooges,if this doesn't prove the liberal media is the tank for Obama,nothing will,the trip would be great success if all the liberal press decided to stay in Iraq!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  4. Allen L Wenger

    To look presidencial and not say anything similar to what John McCain said on his trips to the middle east.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  5. Frank Canada

    My guess is most of the media frenzy accompanying his trip are most interested in him making an error or anything they could protray as an error. Therefore the thing that would be make it most successful would be to deprive the press from having anything to write or talk about.

    On the other hand the media doesn't have to follow McCain anywhere as all they have to do is turn on the television and get an endless supply of slip ups and memory lapses.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Tom, Avon, Maine, The heart of Democracy

    No death threats like Bush gets. No tens of thousands protesting like Bush gets. No burning in effigy like Bush gets. Basically if the world recognizes that Obama isn't Bush we will be on our way to respectability.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  7. dave bird Tampa,FL

    If he stays there!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Coming back and saying that McCain needs to take off his rose colored glasses because he didn't see anything nor was told anything appearing to be like what McCain claims. Won't happen, but I would love it.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  9. Josh in Sylvania, Ohio

    He needs to show Europe that America is willing to work together with other countries and end the cowboy diplomacy of the Bush Administration. He must not be arrogant or make the same mistakes that Bush has made since Europeans have a extremely low opinion of Americans as a result of George W Bush's poor decisions.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  10. Tearched Scott Chicago, IL


    I already think that it has been a successful trip overseas. Most countries have already been keeping an eye on Barack Obama and loving what they see. Who else but Barack Obama could three major news reporters to go with him on the trip, not John McCain. That is for sure! The United States and other countries are ready for change, in fact they already have had female presidents and other minorities as president. We are the ones that are falling behind when it comes to that!

    "Scott" Chicago, IL

    July 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  11. Anna, SW Missouri

    I am not worried about Obama having a successful trip, he will. What really angers me about all of this media attention he is getting is the fact that they are not giving McCain the same attention. If they did, Obama would be leading in the polls by 20 points. They can't wait for a "gotcha moment' on Obama, while McCain is giving them plenty of them and they are ignoring it. This is not media bias for Obama, but instead is media bias for McCain and refusing to show him as he really is instead of what he was in 2000. By the way, I am a Republican!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    To get back home safely.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Greg from PA

    Obama's trip will be successful if he looks presidential and doesn't stick his foot in his mouth. The only thing that would really top that during his trip would be if he announced Senator Chuck Hagel agreed to be his pick for VP.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  14. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    To be successful, Obama must decide exactly what he want to accomplish, then resolve to pay the price to get it because you see Jack, success is a journey not a destination. The doing of what he wants to accomplish is usually more important than the outcome.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  15. Larry in Florida

    If he doesn't tell them all they need to show resposibility and credebility. Keeps his nose level and doesn't talk down it. Finaly realizes what he's getting himself into. Gets humbled a little so I can bear to watch him for the next 4 years should he get elected. But pretty sure the media will see to that Jack.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  16. J.D.

    I can't imagine what might constitute an unsuccessful trip. He'll meet with world leaders, attract massive crowds and capture the world's heart. Somewhere John McCain is sticking pins in an Obama voodoo doll.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Tony,.......Lou, Ky.

    If he stayed there.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  18. Robert


    It's already a huge success given the media front line personnel that are tagging along to cover him. John McCain didn't get that coverage on any of his trips and the attention paid to Obama on this trip will overshadow almost anything that McCain can do or say.


    North Port, Florida

    July 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    With McCain, et. al. whining about all the news coverage, I'd say it's already a success. And a lesson to McCain, this is what happens when you bully someone smarter than you into doing it your way.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  20. leevaughn brown

    Hey Jack
    After the bafoonery McCain treated us to, (Iraq traveling with armed guards say it's safe, Facts whispered in his ear) and we won't even go into Bush and Rice wasting taxpayer money, all he has to do is wave, nod his head, look serious at the right time and come back home
    Cinti, Ohio

    July 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    A successful overseas trip for Sen. Obama would be to tune out the million different things the print and broadcast media insist he HAS to do, and the mistakes he MUST NOT make . He needs simly to look, learn and listen and heed his instincts and counsel that brought him to the state of Presumptive Democratic Nominee.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Faad, ITALY

    Simply Jack, When all of us ( Europeans ) welcome him like a president from the US with great vision not only for america but for the world. I am in Italy and i will go see HIM in GERMANY, FRANCE AND ENGLAND and i know he loves ITALY. vai!!!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  23. Gigi in Alabama

    All he has to do is show up and it will trump anything that Bush or McCain can do. He is intelligent and articulate and everyone appreciates that after all these years of Bush.
    He also needs to show Europeans that under his leadership that we will once again be a partner for democracy and not a cowboy that shoots his mouth off without thinking.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  24. Tom in Birmingham, Al

    What would be a successful trip overseas for Obama? That many in the world would begin falling in love with America like it used to be. Now if we can just do our job and reignite our love affair with the world – and never allow our leaders to break it off again!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  25. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Barack Obama is going to be able to show the countries, many
    who no longer respect us, the real America. He represents
    middle class America who do not think like or even relate to
    the present administration.
    He is going to show the world that the United States of
    America is made up of kind, caring people who are
    intelligent enough to vote him as our president.
    He will create nothing but good.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  26. Gwinn Oregon

    IF Obama could put aside his self importants and listen equally to the fighting soldiers and not only the generals. If Obama could see the real war and the people living this terror. And come back and have a true vision for getting out of this mess with safety for, Iraq and neigboring countries, as well as for America. Winning the war for us is arrogance and shame. Winning for the world is hope. That would be sucess in my opinion


    July 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  27. matthew

    Obama needs to be himself, he needs to preach what he has been preaching since the begining of the campaigne, about the war and how to end it, he also need to let the world know that he is about to end the so called dictator Bush tenure. and that America is ready to lead the world again if he is given the chance to rule.

    Virginia beach, VA

    July 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  28. Paul

    Just being there and showing the world that we may have someone that will talk about issues that effect the whole world. Not just run with an idea on how to handle an issue because it is my idea so it is right and that is what we will have to live with. Also to put an end to action prior to talks. Not that action is not always needed but actions need to be used wisely. It will also show the world we just may get a real thinking person for a change. That in itself would be successful for Obama.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  29. Linda Richards

    It won't take much to surpass the success of trips of the current administration. If he doesn't get burned in effigy, require the military in every country to keep the protesters at bay, have a more meaningful exchange with world leaders than "awesome" and survive a picnic lunch in the Green Zone on a Saturday afternoon without closing the place down and calling in all US troops, he'll be a winner. Everything else earns bonus points. Linda in NJ

    July 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  30. David of Natchez

    I think it would be a success if when he returned he introduced a bill that would limit the president's term of office to a single 4 year term. Maybe then we would only be in half as bad a shape as we are in.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Marie Ontario

    Altough most of the people around the world have a less than favorable view of the U.S. right now almost all of these are hoping your country can right itself and once again become the world's leader both morally and financially.

    If you did a survey amongst all these different countries in the world you would find out almost everyone is hoping Barak Obama becomes your next President and counting on him to right the ship.

    With Obama's charisma and intelligence he should make an excellent impression and come back having filled most of the world with hope and alleviate all the current anxiety your resident moron has created over the past 8 years.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  32. Jerry,OK

    Jack, The main-stream media is traveling with Barack and will soon tell us what constituted a successful Obama overseas trip, after the tingling in their leg subsides.

    Jerry N/Tulsa

    July 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  33. Lorenzo in Atlanta

    A successful trip would be for him to come back to the US with 3 or 4 brigades following home.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  34. Mike - Wethersfield CT

    Hi Jack,
    All Barack Obama needs to do for a successful overseas trip is, at some point in time, string two coherent sentences together with out lying and he will have out shined both President Bush and John McCain.

    Mike C
    Wethersfield, CT

    July 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  35. lance


    A successful trip....it depends on how we define it. If Barrack builds bridges many will still criticize him for reason I dont know. However, if he does not build bridges then he is considered a failure at foreign policy….. Either way I hope he comes home safely.


    July 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  36. greg lancaster, tx

    Look and act presidential and don't say anything stupid. In short be a polar opposite to McBush.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  37. Helemai Hawaii

    Obama's trip is historic not only for the US but for the rest of the world too. The fact that he's making overtures to significant international leaders shows his willingness to meet directly with them on foreign policies. But I'm wondering if he intends to use the word "appeasement" in any of his speeches. We shall see.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  38. Greg in Cabot AR

    If Obama can demonstrate that he is willing to be a cast member on the stage with the rest of the world leaders and NOT appear to be the super star that Bush thought HE was, his trip will be a historic success.

    Most of all, Obama needs to listen to and understand who he might be dealing with in the future and NOT appear to be a "decider" like they (the other world leaders) have had to put up with the past 8 years.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  39. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I just hope the media isn't so involved just to tear down, distort
    and talk negatively about Barack Obama during his trip,
    Mccain has gotten a free ride on all of his outlandish
    statements, lies and blunders.
    Other than you and Oberman the commenters etc are
    clearly biased towards the republicans.
    And, we, the American people want him to have a safe, successful trip.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  40. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    He just needs to avoid making any serious mistakes. The people in Europe are open to him and I believe they will turn out in huge numbers to see and listen to him. This could be the beginning of a new age in diplomacy that will be a good thing for the world order as well as our own country. In Iraq and Afghanistan, he should try to talk with some front line people, and not just the generals in order to get an accurate feel for the situation.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  41. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    To see some action and get a reality check on what wars are all about. Then realize hat he is no super star saviour with all the answers. Hopefully he will come down to earth with the rest of us and face reality.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  42. Terry from North Carolina

    To not get shot at and arrive home safely. For the life of me I cant understand why he is making this trip ? The most important issues he has to address are right here.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  43. Betty - AL


    After McCain's prediction today, I think the success will be him getting home safe so that we don't (for the third time) elect the party of fear.

    The world already loves Obama – guess that's what has McCain so scared.


    July 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  44. Bruce (Las Vegas)

    It needs to be pointed out that McCain hasn't been to Iraq and Afganistan since April 2007 which was before the surge really got going and yet he feels it's ok for him to announce his policy while at same time criticiizing Obama. McCain's hypocrisy knows no limit and press is not calling him on it.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  45. Rachel Port

    Remember JFK in Paris?

    The world is looking for a different message from America, and this man can deliver it.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  46. Sally

    Who cares. It's the media that's putting all the hype into this. I'd be happy if he stayed over there. That's a hope for a change!!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  47. Diane Glasser

    Having a positive reception by all the countries he visits. All he needs to do is to listen, and intelligently and realistically discuss issues with each leader that is pertinent to both countries that end on a positive note.
    Then maybe McCain's supporters might realize they were wrong about Obama's diplomatic skills, and instead are hearing the death gong to McCain's campaign. Diane from PA

    July 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  48. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    like most overseas trips by any elected official including The Shrub, this is strictly an exercise in imagery. It is for domestic consumption and for foreign consumption as well.
    "BO" has to show the home folks that he can do the dance with the "savoir faire" which has been missing in the last 8 years. That he will not be the godawful embarrasment on the world stage that Bush has been. At the same time he has to impress upon the leaders and the citizens of these nations that, should he be elected, they will no longer be dealing with an idiot.
    If he can do that. He will have had a successful trip.

    Pablo in Arlington, Tejas

    July 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  49. Brian - Trinidad

    If he gets an agreement in principle on some of things that he has people believing he can do.Like getting the Middle East players to agree on a peace initiative for the entire region.The photo ops aren't going to do it.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  50. Howard M, Bolingbrook IL

    Jack, I think the entire premise of these over seas trips are stupid. How much can one learn in a few days, with people only putting on the face they want you to see.These VIP guest only get to see what the people on the ground want them to see and hear.

    Obama's trip to Iraq will be successful and informative only if, he speaks to unplanned Company Commanders,(Captains); platoon Leaders(Lieutenants) and Squad Leaders(Sergeants). The field grade officers have been instructed what to say and what not to say. I was a part of that charade in Nam.

    If one of your researchers would check, they would find that Gen. Petraeus is using the same exact military speak that Gen. Westmoreland used in Viet Nam to cause us to stay.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  51. Jackie in Dallas, TX

    To me, a successful trip is where he convinces both the population and the leaders of the countries that he visits that Americans can be intelligent and accepting, and can convince them that not all of us think that we know best what is good for another country. Bush and his fellow cowboys in nearly eight years have made us the Ugly Americans again, and I would like to see him counter some of that impression.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  52. Carol, Calif. Central Coast

    Sen. Obama will accomplish a successful overseas trip if he comes across as an intelligent, thoughtful, visionary leader — something the U.S. has not presented to the world for a long time.
    Carol, Lompoc, CA

    July 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  53. Michelle- Washington, DC

    It's successful if he comes back and the American people aren't swooning over the images of John McCain during 1969 and consequently seeing him as more presidential than Barack. It's time to do away with the notion that you can't be Commander-in-Chief if you haven't served in the military. What would the McCain campaign have done if Sen. Clinton had won the primary–criticize her lack of service in the military–as a woman?!?! Now, THAT would would be ridiculous.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  54. MR.Lawrence, Gainesville ,Florida

    Not getting carried away by all the media attention and love he will get, but staying on message and letting the world see him as the beacon of hope for America's image abroad and a charismatic leader

    July 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  55. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    I don't think anything will constitute success. He will attract massive crowds in Europe where they already want him to be president and the Repubs will turn that on him. He will look presidential at every turn giving me hope that I can be proud of my president again and they'll turn THAT on him. Meanwhile after taunting him for months about NOT going to Afghanistan and Iraq, they will then make a huge point of it being his first trip ever or first trip in so long and accuse him of being out of touch for traveling to foreign countries when Americans are suffering at home. It's a lose, lose.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  56. Jed from Redding, CA

    Let's consider the last two overseas trips by our fearless Republican leaders. We have President George W. Bush turning the G8 summit into an international kegger then we have McCain's last trip to the Middle East where he has Joe Lieberman tapping him on the shoulder every 5 minutes to remind him that what he just said about Iran, Iraq and Al Qaeda has no basis in reality. After those two Obama has a fairly easy task: Go there, do stuff, come back and don't be stupid. If he can pull that off, he already be up several brownie points at home and overseas.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  57. Gilles, the Netherlands

    Obviously it's to make the good old fashioned first impression, like going for a job interview. An overseas trip is crucial for him to get acceptance from important world leaders and their constituants. Because lets face it, he's got charm, brings fresh new perspectives, and he's clearly not pulling into the renegade antics of Bush's style of governance, something that the Europeans clearly didn't like. By the way, here in Europe, old, retired war veterans running for president, prime minister or chancellor just wont cut the Gouda!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  58. sandy in Ohio

    Jack. I think Obama can show the world that we are a diverse country willing to listen to all sides and to respect different opinions. I don't think we will have to worry about a"bomb, bomb, bomb" joke or anything like that in poor taste. I do hope he gets to talk to the soldiers in Iraq and maybe Afghanistan and not just the generals. McCain seems to be threatened by Obama's trip and that just makes me question McCain's foreign policy credentials. Is he afraid Obama will come back with the real story?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  59. Kent, Illinois

    That he comes home alive.............The crowds will be enormous and honestly,I fear for his life..................

    July 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  60. Ann from S.C.

    A successful trip for Obama would be one in which he presented himself as friendly to his hosts, knowledgeable, confident, and able to handle any situation.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  61. Yolanda of NJ

    Please post me!!

    A sucessful trip would be coming back when McSame has adequately napped so they can debate the REAL issues like why the soles of my shoes are getting thin from walking because I can't afford to DRIVE!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  62. Bill,Quarryville. PA

    If he could repair 1/2 of the damage President Bush has caused with his cocky attitude that would be great.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  63. Kent, Illinois

    He is very Presidential overseas.........If we don't elect him President, Britain wants him.................

    July 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  64. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    In essence he is the real deal.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  65. raul from louisville kentucky

    A successful trip for Obama is going to the Iraq parlament and telling the Iraqies that he will get our military out of their country. After saying that I am sure he will get plenty of clapps and standing ovations, then he can come back and tell John McCain that he is out of touch with the people of Iraqa and the people of America.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  66. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    He needs to retain humility and listen as much as possible, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ol' McCain can "pounce" all he wants – it won't make much if any difference because the American people will be keeping up with Obama while he's abroad and we'll know if he has screwed up! I can't wait to see how he is greeted, especially in Europe – this could make a huge difference for him in the eyes of some Americans.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  67. Kent, Illinois

    It is a given that the crowds will be unbelieveably large. It may be enough attention to awaken blue collar voters here in the USA.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  68. Erin in Kalamazoo

    showing voting Americans what a little diplomacy can do for our foreign relations and our global image–oh wait–Americans don't really care what the world thinks of them

    July 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  69. Lisa Casey

    Barack Obama will have a successful trip by just showing up. Hell, after eight years of Bush the people overseas will be thrilled to finally have an intelligent conversation.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  70. me46

    Razicudlo, Las Vegas
    Huge crowds and screaming fans to validate his "rock star" status. He might even tear up a hotel room or take the stage naked just to show his crowd that he is a new age politician with a big agenda. A side trip to Amsterdam is definitely in order so he can cut some secret trade deals with other world leaders. Al Queda will surrender after he speaks at their terrorist camp and Bin Laden will apologize for the confusion over their names. OBL will then blow himself up and BO will return safely.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  71. Dick B

    I think his trip would be a success if everyone overseas understands that unless they do what we want we will bomb them back into the stone age.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  72. David, Orlando, FL

    Success would be if he can begin to repair our sullied reputation and start rebuilding the trust and respect we used to have prior to our election of a criminal to the WH. It may not be what you wanted to hear, but at least it is a definition of “success” unlike McSame who uses the term without any meaning attached to it.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  73. Kent, Illinois

    It may depend on who he is involved in meetings with overseas. If leaders there see him as influential, it may bring new voters his way in November.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  74. Hope M.Madisonville, KY

    He's a smart guy and all he has to do is look Presidential, ask
    questions without making any gaffes and let the news coverage
    flow! He is smarter than McCain who didn't bother to invite the
    press. Free coverage and a chance to look good to the American
    people and the entire world. That's why he's better than McCain on
    the economy, he knows how to get the maximum bang for his buck.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  75. Joe in DE

    Survive and make no unfortunate satements.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  76. Real Change

    No matter the outcome, it has already been a sucessful trip. The free advertising Obama has and will continue to receive in the media is priceless.

    How about giving some free air time to candidates that really need it to get their messages out, like Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, and other third party candidates?

    Rob, San Diego, CA

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  77. joan ont.ca

    People around the world think Barack is the real deal seeing him in person will confirm they are right on. McCain is really acting strange today, talking at a faster pace and seems to have the jitters. He is jumping up and down saying "for the first time" over and over again.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  78. angie

    A sucess trip overseas for obama would to regain the respect we have lost the last 7 years with president bush, Also that we could work with other countries on issuse like energry, terriosm, etc and of course that he returns home safetly.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  79. Tony from Torrington

    A successful trip will be when he gets back and says that the Generals agree with the President and we must finish the job. But he won't say that even though he will be thinking that. He will come back with the same empty suit and great speech writers to swoon the press into forgetting about the facts.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  80. Foley in Idaho

    Any trip frankly. Just by not being george Bush, and not being o member of the same party George bush is in he's already won out on this one.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  81. Marjorie Lominy

    All he has to do Jack is remind the Europeans that the last 8 years were a temporary setback and that come January The United States of America will back greater than ever ready to lead once again

    July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  82. Paul, Columbia, SC

    This trip is now nothing more than a media circus. No animals. Just clowns.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  83. mike, ohio

    Looking Presidential. Speaking to Foreign leaders in countries we are aligned with as allies. It is important to get an up close and personal conversation with the leaders he will deal with if he comes President. If he
    gets through this trip without any hitches it will be priceless!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  84. wally Ruehmann las Vegas nv

    successful if he doesnt get busted in a pot house in Amsterdam.....

    July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  85. Nancy from Indiana

    A successful trip for Obama overseas would be that they see in him what this little old 68 yr old white woman did when I first saw and heard him speak. I have a good intution about people and he spoke to me and I knew from that time on that he was our next President!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  86. Greg, PA

    Successful? It would be a very successful trip if he doesn't come back at all.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  87. cal

    This will not be a problem for Obama. Heck he's love by millions just by walking into a room. He sharp he is funny and he is proud. I know the european's and the middle east will absolutely love him, what's not to love?

    Obama all the way

    July 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  88. Linda in Florida

    If he can convince the rest of world that the US really isn't made up of idiots and warmongers, as Bush has made us appear.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  89. Mac in Truro Nova Scotia

    He just has to be himself and the Europeans will see that he is willing to be a partner not a cowboy who shoots first and asks questions later.
    When he returns we would love to have him visit us in Canada, your closest neighbor, especially if he would visit beautiful Nova Scotia

    July 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  90. Harold from Anchorage, AK

    Pulling out of Iraq is not amilitary decision, it is a policy matter. Getting out is merely correcting a horrible error in judgement. The tactical situation on the ground is not relevant; this trip is pointless and isunecessarily risky for our next President.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  91. Pat, Pa.

    Just be himself and come home safely.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  92. Timothy in Pittsburgh

    A good trip for Obama, would be to stay over there.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  93. Lily, Falls Church VA

    Just going, and coming back safe.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  94. concerned

    Success will be when his next visit overseas will be as President

    July 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  95. Margot, Canada

    A trip that would show the american people just how the world wouldn't follow another Bush as president. The fact that a majority of Canadians would exchange their own federal vote for a vote in the american general election suggests just how important this race really is for the people around the world. The western world is hungry for change.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  96. Nissim Sasson San Diego CA

    Are you kidding?

    This it already is a successful trip for him with all the incredible extra media coverage thta he is already getting form you guys!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  97. terry

    All of the stops that he will be making are good stops. This will be the first effort to show that back in the business of consulting with allies and seeking support on international indeverse. It's bridge building time America.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  98. luders

    The trip is already sucessful. All the media attention and positive press by the European's press already prove Obama's point that he will a srong world leader.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  99. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    It will be successful if he respects the people and leaders of these countries and he gets their respect in return.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  100. Rick K

    Frank Canada hit the nail exactly on the head!!!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  101. Ali Bie

    Jack, An overseas success would be not to use clips like "dead or alive", "axis of evil", "I'm the decider". I think we all can assume he won't . Bush has lowered the bar so low as to what would "shock and awe" the world.
    I would ask Obama to just be himself, be a good listener, show respect, expect respect, and have his OWN media person make tapes on everything!

    Ali Bie
    Minot, ND

    July 18, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  102. HartlessBeest

    Hi Jack.

    If the people overseas greet Obama as if he were the second coming of Christ, it is a guarantee he will win the presidency.

    HartlessBeest – Indiana

    July 18, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  103. Paul in Minneapolis

    All he has to do is avoid doing anything dumb like: giving the German Chancellor a backrub, throwing up on a foreign leader at dinner, walking through Baghdad wearing a flak jacket and a full Marine escort and proclaiming it "safe", or trying to bumble himself off stage through a locked door.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  104. Ron

    With our Global Economy and World-Wide-Ways of doing business with other countries, it is imperative that the U.S. and the POTUS be respected and revered as the Leader of the Free World, not the Big Bully on the Block. I beleive that Barak Obama will initiate the Era of Human Elevation – an understanding that we all are the same One Race. Imagine the glorious potential of all the different peoples of the planet working together towards Global prosperity as Earthlings. WOW!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  105. alex

    the ultra liberal media will make sure that this goes off without a hitch for mr obama. The media doesnt even try to hide its bias anymore.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  106. Yvenst

    Look pretty and exude his swagger.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  107. William Witcher

    A case of Tetley from the UK, a box of hand rolled Cigars from Cuba, and a finely tailored suit from France... Look Jack... he just has to show up and speak with Pride and Strength and Intelligence... he just has to be an American, just be Barrack!
    -William W,
    La Habra, CA

    July 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  108. Kevin

    Let's keep it simple. Try not to fall down the airplane stairs, throwup on someone importants lap, tell your guest that their american counterparts are GREAT Cabbies, or Mispronounce their, or their Countries names. You know, don't be Republican.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm |