Barack Obama is canceling nearly all his campaign events Thursday and Friday to fly to Hawaii to visit his suddenly ill 85-year-old grandmother, his spokesman said today. Robert Gibbs told reporters that Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, who helped raise him, was released from the hospital late last week. But he said her health had deteriorated "to the point where her situation is very serious."
Obama was expected to resume campaigning on Saturday, though Gibbs was unsure where. Obama events originally planned for Madison, Wis., and Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday will be replaced with one in Indianapolis before he makes the long flight to Hawaii, the AP reports. Gibbs said it was still being decided whether surrogates would fill in for Obama. His wife, Michelle, for instance, was not accompanying him to Hawaii.