October 20th, 2008
09:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Obama Leaving Campaign Trail

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

This just in... Sen. Barack Obama is leaving the campaign trail for a couple of days this week to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

Here's the statement we just received from an Obama spokesman:

"Senator Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has always been one of the most important people in his life. Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born until the moment he left for college. As he said at the Democratic Convention, she poured everything she had into him.

Recently, his Grandmother 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 Senator Obama has decided to change his schedule on Thursday and Friday so that he can see her and spend some time with her. He will be returning the the campaign trail on Saturday."

We'll have the latest on this announcement tonight on 360.

And, did you see Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live over the weekend?
Do you think Palin's appearance helped or hurt the campaign?
We're taking an up close look.

We're also looking at the "S" word mentioned a lot by Palin and a couple times by John McCain on the trail.

For all you Sesame Street fans: In this case, "S" is for socialism. The McCain-Palin ticket is attacking Obama's tax plan as socialist.

"There are hints of socialism in there and that's why I don't fault or discredit Joe the plumber for bringing that up asking if that is socialism," said Palin recently.

Do you think the accusation is fair?
We've got the raw politics.

And, we're unveiling the seventh name to our 10 most wanted list: Culprits of the Collapse.

All that and more tonight on 360°.
Hope you can join us at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Karen

    I love the 10 Most Wanted, but how do you not add the heads of Fannie & Freddie, Franklin Raines in particular, or the Congressmen and Senators who ignored warnings a couple of years ago, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in particular? Please add a couple of them for your final picks! Thanks!

    October 20, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  2. Natasha, Texas

    Sen. Obama is doing the right thing by going to see his grandmother. He would be very foolish not to.

    October 20, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  3. carolyn etienne

    Gee!! I missed the part where the republicans started calling Obama a socialist....they must have heard me calling them fascists. Now that the name calling is over who will teach Sarah Palin anything about geography? She might be a drama queen but vice president???Give me a break...I am hoping she goes back to Alaska and Bush goes back to Texas and someone can clean this entire mess up! Did I say good by to Cheney as well???? Will anyone talk about the real issues and why we should stay in Iraq one more day?

    October 20, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  4. John Glimmerveen

    Oh no, socializum!

    let's compare health care in the UK and the US. In the UK health cover is free – for all. We don't want that! We want companies to make a profit from sickness. No, no socializum here, thank you.

    October 20, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  5. Laura

    The Poll of polls is not accurate, as it depends on each state...not the country as a whole.

    October 20, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  6. Carol

    Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy are called American capitalism or Reaganomics. Obama's tax cuts for the middle class are called socialism.

    McCain attacks Obama's character. Obama attacks McCain's policies. Negative ads are all lumped together as if there were no difference.

    Obama associates with people who may have behaved badly in the past. Sarah Palin has been found to abuse her power as governor of Alaska.

    The press allows the Swiftboating of the Obama campaign by treating all comments by the campaigns as equally valid and few reporters or anchors have the courage to call it like it is. God bless Colin Powell.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  7. lampe

    oH! Is that the same grandmother, that he said was afraid of Black people? you remember the one he threw under the bus. I think Gov. Palen, was great on SNL. She shows that she is one of the everyday people, unlike Obama, who only has friends, with shady past. McCain\Palin 08 the only ticket americans can be safe with.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  8. Tammy

    I think that if you had any questions about how compassionate Sen. Obama is or how he would think of the middle to low class of people, this proves to me that no matter what, family comes first. You can always judge a man by how he treats his wife, kids, and other family members. I am voting for Sen. Obama because I like his stand on the economy, healthcare, and his level-headedness. My prayers are with him and his grandmother in their time of need.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  9. Laura

    Call it Socialism, call it whatever, as long as I can get affordable insurance...I don't care what you call it. A $5,000 tax credit does not help me get health insurance.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  10. Belvia Levkus

    We will all pray Senator Obama that your Grandmother gets to see you become our President. We will pray that God will keep you safe from all the evil and hatred that is being thrown at your wonderful and inspiring aura. We will also pray that God will pull us together along side of you and you can take our hands and pull us out of this darkness.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  11. Dee

    Obviously the situation with Senator Obama's ill grandmother goes beyond politics. It is a terrible moment to get a phone call with bad news. Our prayers are with Senatro Obama's grandmother and the family. We pray for improved health and for those attending to her.
    As for his supporters, we will just work harder while he is away taking care of family concerns.
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 20, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  12. Monique

    I pray for Obama, his trip to see his grandmother, strength for her body,and safety for his family and future cabinet members and for the nation, both now and when he becomes President.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  13. rebeca meade

    I do not think that if Mr Obama leaves his campaign for two days to be with his grandmother it will affect him in any way, American people already have madeup their minds, and already know who he is and who McCain, palin are the thing is that the gop already know that their time is runningthey have not run a honest and clean campaign, they just grab any negative word to use it because they already have run out of arguments against Mr Obama, i was born a republican , but this campaign is so embarrasing and disrespectfull for us americans that i am voting for Obama-Biden

    October 20, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  14. Randy in New Jersey

    The McCain campaign wads in dangerous waters if they attack Sen. Obama while he is at his sick Grandmother's side. That being said,desperate times call for desperate measures. Nothing is off the table at this point.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  15. joyce

    Barack is doing what is right . It shows what a man will do to show his love and respect for a lady who gave so much to Barack. John McCain. needs show some respect for Barack and Barack's Grandmother at this time.. we will send are best wishes for Barack and his whole family.. BLESSING FOR ALL

    October 20, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  16. Jt from TN

    I'm applauding O'bama for suispending his campaign to visit his grandmother who is sick. At least he's not suspending his campaign to go pretend to be helping on a 700 billion dollar bailout. Both of these canidates have been on trial for awhile, there's nothing wrong with taking a day or two to go visit a sick family member. He may even get a stump speech or two in while he's there and get even more supporters. The more the merrier.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  17. G. L. Lancaster

    My prayers are with Sen. Obama. May God be with you and your grandmother.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  18. Evaristus Opara

    I duly respect Obama for his action because the action shows appreciation, respect and honor to her grandmom who did everything she could to put Obama in his present condition.
    The same manner I feel barack Oboma will be a good president if elected because she would equally appreciate the honor given to him by Americans to serve. I will therefore vote for him because I feel he will remember his pledges to americans and act accordingly the way he is taking good care of his grand mother for the efforts received at childhood.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  19. Jean - Dallas

    Our prays go out to Senator Obama and his grandmother. We pray for a speedy recovery for her from her illness!!

    October 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  20. Patty

    I respect Barack for going to his Grandmother's side.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  21. Elsa

    I hope MCain is going to honor this break... are they really going to attack him when he is visiting his sick grandmother? That would indeed would be low

    October 20, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  22. Laura - Herndon, VA

    I think it is perfectly acceptable for Obama to take time off to visit with his ailing grandmother. I hope she is not gravely ill that she is not able to see her grandson become the next president.

    As for Sarah Palin's appearance on "SNL" I don't think it hurt the campaign or helped the campaign. It was entertaining. Alec Baldwin was quite entertaining as well.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  23. Sherry

    I totally agree with Brigette's comments about Barack Obama's choice to give personal attention to his grandmother, even with the campaign closing in. It simply reaffirms my opinion of him. May God bless his grandmother, and their entire family.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  24. azeb

    I pray for her to see him as president.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  25. Tom J

    Obama has a perfectly capable team behind him, so nothing's going to stop or fall apart just because he's off the trail for a couple of days. I hope his grandmother's condition improves quickly so she can enjoy watching the results come in on the 4th. 🙂

    October 20, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  26. Andrea

    The McCain-Palin campaign is targeting Obama's character. His ideas, relationships, and personal values is what American voters need to understand. Obama has not been truthful throughout his campaign. The next topic needs to be an investigation into how he has raised an enormous amount of money recently, including overseas contributions!!

    October 20, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  27. Cate Malone, Omaha, NE

    I can only hope that Barack's beloved grandmother, who obviously did such a wonderful job raising him, will live long enough to see him elected. As for the McCain campaign, I hope they have an once of humanity and ease up on the rhetoric while he's dealing with this terrible family ordeal, although I doubt they will. I don't think they have any sympathy for anyone who doesn't think exactly the way they do.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  28. Shirley Butler

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Obama and his loved ones. I agree 100% with Brigette. I am not the least surprised that those who want to pounce on the slightest move he makes are going to somehow try to spin something sinister out of this as well. Shame to anyone who does.
    I am not the least surprised however, that Mr. Obama is rushing to his grandmother's side. He is true to what WE KNOW is his authentic self.
    Again, thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Mr. Obama, you continue to inspire.

    October 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  29. gerry

    My prayers go out for Barack Obama's grand mother. May God keep her well until Barack's inaugeration.

    October 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  30. Kellyn Bradford

    Go well Senator Obama. As American's we should all pray for Sen. Obama's grandmother and realize at the end of the day, we are all American's and wish each other well.

    October 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  31. Kent, Illinois

    Maybe the GOP can stop the attacks long enough so Obama can visit his Grandma in peace. Nov 5th will be nice and quiet.

    Palin didn't do anything on SNL............big letdown. She sat there....you know too conservative isn't good..........you were on SNL for goodness sake.

    The S word............hey talk to Bush/McCain about what Party gave all the money to the banks...........who's the Socialist here.......W?

    October 20, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  32. Ruby Jones

    If my grandparents were still alive and they were ill, believe me I would drop everything to see them.

    I'm with Brigette on this Godspeed Barack to your Grandmother and you.


    October 20, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  33. Brigette

    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.

    Godspeed Barack to your Grandmother and you!


    October 20, 2008 at 9:42 pm |