EC: "hopefully some sense of the desperate atmospherics of this place"
Campbell Brown asks Michael what, exactly, Senator Obama would learn from a new trip to Iraq. Well, if Michael sets the itinerary...
CAMPBELL BROWN: And, as Candy said, Obama now says that he is considering a trip to Iraq some time before the November election. Well, what would he actually see there, if anything?
CNN's Michael Ware is based in Baghdad.
Michael, based on your own experiences on the ground in Iraq, do you think there's any value in Obama coming there and spending time with the generals and spending time with the troops?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Campbell, certainly, for Obama, there is. It appears to me here from this distance away in the midst of the war that Obama's been politically cornered.
So, it's almost as if he has no choice but to come here. And all credit to him, anyone who is prepared to come here, any policy-maker who wants to at least attempt to touch and feel this war, you have to give that some respect.
But let's look at the reality. What is he really going to get? What kind of a picture is he going to be able to get hold of? At the end of the day, probably not that much greater than the picture he could have obtained from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in a private meeting when they went to Capitol Hill to testify just a month ago.
He can speak to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government. Whatever Nouri al-Maliki says to him is going to be what he thinks Senator Obama or any other American official wants to hear. That can be done by phone as well.
The value of coming here is just to get the aroma, the taste, hopefully some sense of the desperate atmospherics of this place, because it is certainly true that Senator Obama, like Senator McCain on any of his trips, will be seeing a very distorted picture of Iraq -- Campbell.
BROWN: Well, that's what I was going to ask, because the last time he was there was in 2006. If he does visit again, do you think that he would see an actual change compared to his last visit?
WARE: Well, again, this is a problematic issue. He will see the airport of Baghdad. He will see the inside of a Black Hawk helicopter as he flies to the security of the Green Zone, which he's seen before.
He will see the inside of the U.S. Embassy or the inside of any of the massive American military bases around the country. Will that be new? No. Is that a true Iraqi experience? Far from it.
But will he be able to gauge a perhaps more frank, a more realistic, a more honest assessment from the commanders here on the ground? Perhaps. I mean, having known General David Petraeus since his first tour here in 2003, just after the invasion, all the way through to personally in Congress watching him testify, I can tell you, David Petraeus is a straight shooter.
And he will be very frank with Senator Obama or Senator McCain or anyone else who visits. But, like I said, they're not going to be able to live the difference, to really taste it. And the most important issue here now in Iraq is something that you won't see from the air and you won't get from the comforts of the U.S. Embassy. And that's the issue of Iran and how much of a stake and how much of a grip they have here. So, that change, he certainly won't be able to perceive -- Campbell.
BROWN: A good point.
Michael Ware for us tonight -- Michael, as always, thank you.