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Senator Obama visits his Grandmother

HONOLULU — On a whirlwind trip back to Hawaii, Senator Barack Obama spent more than an hour visiting his ailing grandmother late Thursday and is set to return to her bedside on Friday morning after arriving here on a nine-hour flight from the Midwestern battleground of the presidential campaign.

It was an unusual departure from the tug-of-war of the presidential campaign, with 11 days remaining in the race. But it was a trip that advisers said he told them was not negotiable. He missed his mother’s death here in 1995, a mistake he said he did not intend to repeat with his grandmother, who has been a stalwart in his life.

Obama discussed the trip on ABC this morning:

As soon as he arrived on the island of Oahu, Mr. Obama went to the Punahou Circle Apartments, where his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, lies gravely ill. She is to turn 86 on Sunday, but aides to Mr. Obama said doctors advised him not to delay his visit.

“I want to give her a kiss and a hug,” the Democratic presidential candidate told Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview for “Good Morning America” before heading for Hawaii to see his 85-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, the woman who largely raised him.

“And then we’re going to find out what chores I can do, because I’m sure there’s been some stuff that’s been left undone,” he said.
The Illinois senator took the unprecedented step of quitting the presidential campaign with less than two weeks to go so he could hurry home to the apartment he grew up in and see Dunhill. He rejoins the campaign Saturday.

Toot, which is short for “tutu,” the Hawaiian word for grandparent, has been sick for a while and recently fell and broke her hip.  “Without going through the details too much, she’s gravely ill,” Obama told Roberts in an interview that aired today on “GMA.”

Besides the hip, Obama said, “She had some other problems that were getting worse. You know, we weren’t sure, and I’m still not sure, whether she makes it to Election Day.

“We’re all praying and we hope she does,” he said.

source:  NYTimes

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