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Barack Obama, his grandmother, and Las Vegas

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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is taking a break from the hectic campaign trail to visit his gravely ill grandmother, Madelyn Dunham. She still lives in the same Honolulu, Hawaii apartment where she helped raise a teenage Obama.

Recently, 85-year-old Dunham reportedly broke her hip and apparently her health worsened last week. Late yesterday, Obama flew to her bedside and will spend today with the woman he says helped shape his values and his character.

When Obama’s campaign announced his intentions to take a break from campaigning to visit Dunham, some asked how could he leave the campaign at such a crucial time? Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham Sutoro, who was probably the greatest influence on him, died of cancer at the age 52, in 1995.

Obama has said he regrets not being with his mother to hold her hand during those last moments. He doesn’t plan to make the same mistake with his grandmother. I understand all too well. On May 13, 2003, my father had a heart attack and passed away a few hours before I was able to hop a plane for the Bay Area.  

 So to those who ask, “How could Obama leave his presidential campaign at a critical time like this?”  My retort to them is, “How could he not?”

Meanwhile, final preparations are underway today in Las Vegas for an Obama rally at a local high school stadium on Saturday. Obama is scheduled to speak at around 3 p.m. at Bonanza High, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Also, early voting is underway in Nevada and is scheduled to continue through October 31.

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