McCain Makes Surprise Visit to Baghdad
He begins Mideast tour to shore up foreign policy image
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2008 7:59 AM CDT
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks during a news conference, Thursday, March 13, 2008, on Capitol Hill in Washington.    (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – John McCain made a surprise visit to Baghdad this morning, where he will meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Gen. David Petraeus, and US troops. Details were sketchy for security reasons. McCain, who has linked his political hopes to success in Iraq, has begun a tour of the Mideast and Europe to position himself for the general election as a world leader, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The visit to Iraq is McCain's eighth during the current war. "McCain has a fabulous opportunity to reintroduce himself while the Democrats are in this vicious knife fight," a GOP strategist said. McCain hopes to shift the focus of the election toward foreign policy and military expertise.