Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Barack Obama to quit campaign trail to visit his sick grandmom

October 20, 2008 |  5:57 pm

Barack Obama will cancel a pair of stops and leave the presidential campaign trail later this week to fly to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother, a spokesman announced Monday night.

The Democratic nominee says he will cease campaigning Thursday after an appearance in Indianapolis and resume his public appearances sometime SaMadelyn dunham with her grandson, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obamaturday at a location to be determined.

The campaign will keep operating in Obama's absence, with advertising and other activities continuing without interruption, spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

The announcement was made at the end of a day of campaigning in Florida, where Obama planned two more stops Tuesday.

Reading from a statement as he stood in the aisle of Obama's chartered flight, Gibbs said Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, 85, "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 Sen. Obama has decided to change his schedule on Thursday and Friday so that he can see her and spend some time with her."

Gibbs declined to elaborate on her condition, out of respect for her privacy.

(UPDATE: The campaign announced that Michelle Obama will hold events in place of her husband in Akron and Columbus, Ohio, on Friday. When Obama returns to the campaign trail on Saturday morning, he will head out West, a representative said.)

-- Mark Z. Barabak

Photo: Obama with his maternal grandparents at his high school graduation in 1979. Credit: Courtesy of the Obama campaign, via Associated Press.