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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is in Afghanistan on a multistop overseas trip for meetings with international leaders but with an eye on the U.S. presidential race back home.
Obama's trip, which includes visits to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, is intended to bolster his foreign policy credentials before U.S. voters.
"This is the campaign trail via satellite -- pictures for the rhetoric back home," CNN's Candy Crowley said, adding that the trip was intended to demonstrate that Obama was up to the job of taking a lead role on the international stage.....
Obama takes campaign trail overseas
Barack Obama’s July 24 speech to a crowd of about 200,000 in Berlin provided a startling campaign visual to punctuate a week of remarkable media attention. A story about the event on CNN.com, complete with video, quoted the network’s European political editor saying Obama “is one of those politicians who reaches parts other politicians don’t reach.”
But not all of the coverage last week was flattering. By the time Obama concluded a week-long overseas tour intended to burnish his geopolitical credentials, some press post-mortems questioned whether adulation abroad would translate into votes at home and whether the candidate had the specifics to back up his popularity. And in a reprise of a primary-season burst of introspection, the press devoted significant attention to whether it was tilting toward the Democrat.
Whatever the tone of the coverage, Obama’s visit to the Middle East and Europe was an extraordinary media event. Coverage of the trip consumed 51% of the campaign newshole for the week of July 21-27, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s Campaign Coverage Index. That was enough to make it the second-biggest campaign story line since PEJ began tracking them in mid-March. (Only coverage of the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, during the week of April 21-27, generated more attention.) ........
Amid Charges of Bias, the Media Swarm on Obama Overseas
PARIS — Senator John McCain’s trip abroad this week — which took him from the Middle East to No. 10 Downing Street to the Élysée Palace here — was more than just a Congressional fact-finding trip, or even a candidate’s attempt to appear statesmanlike.
It was also an audition on the world stage for Mr. McCain in his new role as the Republican presidential nominee. And it offered him the chance to test his hope that he could repair America’s tattered reputation by shifting course on some of the policies that have alienated its allies, in areas like global warming and torture. But he is making his foray even as he embraces what much of the world sees as the most hated remnant of the Bush presidency: the war in Iraq.
At several stops along the trip, Mr. McCain struck a markedly different tone from that of President Bush. Mr. Bush is so unpopular, even with America’s allies, that people in Britain and France told pollsters last spring that they had even less confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs than they had in President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
McCain Offers Soothing Tones in Trip Abroad