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Obama plans European, Middle East trip

July 17, 2008 at 8:32 AM
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NEW YORK, July 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., hits the road next week with a five-country European and Middle East tour that should have plenty of up-front media coverage.

The presumptive Democratic candidate for president will be accompanied on his 12,000-mile trip by a planeload of reporters, trailed by three television network anchors, USA Today said Thursday.

It shaped up as a vivid contrast to the low-key March trip of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the expected Republican candidate.

James Thurber, an American University political scientist and former teacher in Brussels, told USA Today that Obama is "going to be a rock star."

Obama lacks the foreign policy experience of McCain, a Navy veteran and the top-ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. However, a May poll of more than 6,000 Europeans for London's Daily Telegraph showed Obama favored by wide margins in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia.

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