WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (CNN) – Senator Barack Obama will leave the campaign trail Thursday afternoon and travel to Hawaii to visit his grandmother, who is seriously ill.
Robert Gibbs, a senior advisor to Obama, told reporters on the flight from Orlando that 85 year-old Madelyn Dunham’s health “has deteriorated to the point where her situation is very serious.” Gibbs would not elaborate on the severity of Dunham’s condition, but said the fact that Obama was traveling to see her “underscores the seriousness of the situation.”
Dunham was released from the hospital late last week.
Obama had been scheduled to appear in Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday. Those events have been canceled. Instead, Obama will do a morning event in Indianapolis, Indiana and then head to Hawaii. He will return to the trail on Saturday with a campaign event in a western state.
His campaign will continue to function normally and in no way is being suspended.
Obama often speaks on the stump about his grandmother, what an integral figure she was in his youth and how she struggled against the glass ceiling in her career. He and his family traveled to Hawaii in August to visit Dunham.
In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Obama said of his grandmother: “She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.”
My God be with you President to be Obama. Keep the faith.
Oh my, I hope his grandmother will pull through. I offer my condolences and I'll pray for her health.
God Bless Sen McCain for putting up with Obama during last Wedenesdays debate.
Senator Obama, you have a lot of support and prayers! We are with you! I wish you all the best. You are a very honorable man! We love you!
I, too, pray that she gets better to see her grandson become the next president of the United States.
Our prayers are with you President Obama. May God bless your grandma with speedy recovery and to the grace to see you sworn in to the white house as the new President of the United States of America.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.
Good luck and best wishes to Senator Obama, his grandmother and his family. I sincerely hope she recovers, and if not, that she sees her grandson succeed in his goal.
Peace be with you and your grandmother Mr. Future President
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your grandmother must be very proud of the man you are and the President of the United States you are about to become.
Sure hope Grandma is OK. BUT – IF she is so sick WHY wait until Thursday – today is Monday.
Seems like there is more to this story – like all the "issues" on the legal birth certificate going on right now in Hawaii.
Obama is so good at spin – maybe this is just another distraction learned from his Chicago gang. What a shame!
Our prayers are with Barack Obama, his Grandmother, and their entire family!!!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones Sen. Obama.
All my prayers are with Sen. Obama and his Grandmother! Blessings!
Our thoughts are with Obama and his family. I'm sure she is incredibly proud of him, as we all are.
Blessing and prayers to you, Senator Obama, your grandmother and your family. You are a good honorable man.
Obama supporters, lets all show Obama his campaign will truly "continue to function normally" by all of us VOTING EARLY for BARACK OBAMA THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES !
Senator Obama, You, your grandmother and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for taking on the task that you have. It means more to so many of us than you will ever know. God bless and keep you and your family.
My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family Mr. president.
Our prayers are with you Sen. Obama.
My prayers go out to your grandmother and you Senator Obama....I hope she feels better soon.
Put politics aside and let obama visit his sick grandmother. give the attacks a rest for a few days.
– in the meantime perhaps the media should start digging up dirt on mccain instead of always putting obama under the microscope.
I am amazed that the news is talking about Barack spending time with his Grandmother as a bad thing for the election. Barack suspending his campaign proves he is not the typical politician. If people have been concerned that he is a typical "Chicago" politician, suspending his campaign to be with the woman who raised him will prove that he is authentic. If he kept on campaigning while his grandmother was so ill, I would have thought less of him. How a politician treats his family is a good indicator on how he will treat this country. Loyalty and morality first, fame and fortune later.
God Speed Barack to your Grandmother and you!
May God be with you. me & My family prayers are with you and your family.I am hoping and praying she can see you win the white house
I will be praying that she will recover and be able to watch your inauguration. God Bless!!
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Lord, may it be as You desire it to be. Cover Obama with your protection as he goes forth to visit his grandmother.