Obama's Sort-of Campaign Trip To Jordan
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
(AMMAN, JORDAN) Barack Obama arrived at the airport for his flight to Israel in style, in a sporty Mercedes Benz. So what? Well, that Benz was driven by none other than King Abdullah of Jordan, who gave the Illinois Senator a lift after a meeting and dinner earlier today at His Majesty's palace.
Despite only being a candidate and a freshman U.S. Senator, Obama kept King Abdullah waiting ten minutes before their one on one meeting. His Majesty, who returned early from a trip to Denver, clearly didn't seem to mind, though.
Meantime, after being repeatedly pressed about whether Obama is campaigning or politicking, chief strategist David Axelrod admitted that the presumptive nominee is sort-of campaigning.
"The answer is, of course, any event outside of a CODEL is a campaign event. But it is not a political rally. He will not engage his American political opponents," Axelrod said.
Obama may not be officially campaigning and he isn't president, but he sure looked the part today.
He arrived at a military controlled airfield in Amman on an Osprey V-22, with his traveling sidekicks Sens. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Jack Reed, D-R.I. Not one, but four, aircrafts dramatically landed at Marka airport as campaign aides, secret service, and a small protective pool waited for the arrival. Obama soon strutted off of the second V-22, sporting wrinkled khaki pants, a blue oxford and a helmet in hand.
As he was greeted by Charge d' Affaires Dan Rubinstein, Obama smiled and chatted all while ignoring the 5 or so reporters sweating away in an enclosed pen on the tarmac. Maybe he didn't hear the shouts because he was wearing ear plugs. Or may be he was just avoiding the press.
Obama was then whisked off in a 20-car motorcade to the posh Four Seasons Hotel, where he changed and freshened up for a press conference at the historic Citadel.
At the presser, reporters heard a first hand account from the Senators about their trip, but it was clear who the Big Dod was. After taking questions from reporters for roughly 20 minutes, Obama asked Hagel if he wanted to answer one, but he shrugged and let Obama take one for the team.
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