2008 Presidential Elections

Obama to Visit Seriously Ill Grandmother

10/21/2008 at 06:45 AM EDT

Obama to Visit Seriously Ill Grandmother
Barack Obama
Chris Wattie/Reuters/Landov
Barack Obama will leave the campaign trail for two days this week to visit his seriously ill grandmother in Hawaii, the Democratic candidate's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said Monday.

"Senator Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has always been one of the most important people in his life. Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born until the moment he left for college. As he said at the Democratic Convention, she poured everything she had into him," said Gibbs in a statement.

"Recently, his Grandmother has become ill, and in the last few weeks, her health has deteriorated to the point where her situation is very serious. It is for that reason that Senator Obama has decided to change his schedule on Thursday and Friday so that he can see her and spend some time with her."

The campaign is set to resume on Saturday.

Madelyn Dunham, 85, helped raise Obama, 47. In a campaign ad earlier this year, the White House aspirant described Dunham as the daughter of a Midwest oil company clerk who "taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland."

Obama to Visit Seriously Ill Grandmother| 2008 Presidential Elections, Barack Obama

Obama (middle) with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham


She is also the "white grandmother" to whom he referred in a speech on race at the time he was pressed on his relationship with his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama said he could no more disown Wright than he could his grandmother – who once expressed her fear of black men who passed her on the street.

Michelle Obama to Campaign

Obama's Thursday and Friday schedule had him headed to the battleground states of Wisconsin and Ohio. Polls show him as being ahead in both states.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that on Friday Michelle Obama, the candidate's wife, would represent her husband in Ohio. The national election is in two weeks.

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