Barack Obama, briefly a grandson instead of a candidate, spent some quiet family time Friday with the ailing woman who helped raise him while a clutch of reporters, guards and gawkers waited outside her apartment building in Honolulu.
The Democratic presidential candidate spent about an hour with 85-year-old Madelyn Dunham on Thursday night, and then visited again on Friday. He was joined by his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.
His decision to leave the campaign trail for a day and a half so close to the election reflects the depth of his relationship with Dunham and the severity of her condition.
"Without going through the details too much, she's gravely ill. We weren't sure, and I'm still not sure whether she makes it to Election Day," Obama told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview broadcast Friday.
"We're all praying and we hope she does, but one of the things I want to make sure of is I had a chance to sit down with her and to talk to her. She's still alert and she's still got all her faculties. And I want to make sure that I don't miss that opportunity," he said.
Republican Ex-Governor Of Bay State Backs Obama
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, a Republican, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president on Friday, citing the senator's good judgment, "deep sense of calm" and "first-class political temperament."
Weld said he has never endorsed a Democrat for president before, but in the last six weeks or so, it became "close to a no-brainer." Obama has a history of bringing Democrats, Republicans and independents together and is the best choice at a time when America's standing in the world is at a low point, he said.
"It's not often you get a guy with his combination of qualities, chief among which I would say is the deep sense of calm he displays, and I think that's a product of his equally deep intelligence," he said.
He insisted that his endorsement was based on Obama's strengths, not Republican John McCain's weaknesses. "John McCain is a very good guy," he said. "I do think the Republican Party has been playing on an increasingly small field in the last couple of elections."
Weld joined other prominent Republicans endorsing Obama in the campaign's final weeks, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Scott McClellan, former press secretary to President Bush.
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