ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the governors of Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York and Oregon are visiting U.S. forces in Baghdad.
The surprise trip was at the invitation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who hand-picked the bi-partisan delegation. Pawlenty, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, Idaho's Dick Kempthrone and New York Gov. George Pataki are Republicans. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski are Democrats.
The governors were briefed at the Pentagon Sunday and will spend two days in Iraq, the Minnesota governor's office said in a statement Tuesday.
The mission toured Baghdad visiting U.S. troops and was briefed at a former palace of Saddam Hussein. The delegation also was to discuss reconstruction efforts with Ambassador Paul Bremer and leaders of Iraq's emerging government.