On the original topic of the thread, the Washington Post has an article today about this issue, statements by both campaigns, the McCain ad about it, and information from reporters on the trip. Here's a link to the article.
I really can't see how this is an "issue" at all, honestly. It seems like a lot of fuss about nothing.
These two quotes from the Washington Post article appear to sum it all up.
|In fact, there is no evidence that he planned to take anyone to the American hospital other than a military adviser, whose status as a campaign staff member sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event.
On Friday afternoon, en route from Berlin to Paris, Gibbs briefed reporters traveling with Obama. He noted that the candidate had visited wounded soldiers several weeks earlier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District and at a combat support hospital while in Iraq earlier in the week -- both times without reporters.
The broader issue of a foreign campaign trip is a very interesting one, but not exactly one of Obama's making. McCain had been complaining about his lack of any visit, ever, to Afghanistan and the amount time since he'd been to Iraq (McCain even had a ticker on his website), and now he's complaining that a foreign trip doesn't makes sense? Sure, there can be differences between information gathering trips and campaign trips, but that fact that he'd be a huge change in how people abroad see the head of state of the US is really important to me, and because it might be important to other people, too, it makes sense as a campaign issue for Obama to highlight. It's a campaign strategy, not behavior based on hidden knowledge that he will win the election.