Obama arrives in Honolulu to visit ailing grandmother - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Obama arrives in Honolulu to visit ailing grandmother

Sen. Barack Obama with his grandparents in 1979 Sen. Barack Obama with his grandparents in 1979
David Ginsburg David Ginsburg

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Barack Obama credits his grandmother with helping him to become the man he is today.

The Democratic presidential candidate arrived on Oahu Thursday evening for a brief visit with his beloved grandmother, a woman he fondly refers to as 'Toots', short for tutu.

Madelyn Dunham helped raise Obama in Honolulu. She recently was hospitalized after falling and breaking her hip, and is said to be gravely ill.

Dunham is back home at Punahou Circle Apartments on Beretania Street, which is where Obama spent his childhood years.

The Illinois Senator left the apartment complex around 9:00 p.m. Thursday.  He spent about an hour visiting his tutu before taking off. Obama is reportedly staying at a hotel in Waikiki.

When the presidential contender arrived in Punahou, there was a crowd of people lined up in front of his grandmother's place.

Some people had cameras, hoping to catch a glimpse of Obama.

Some supporters said the Senator's visit to Hawaii says a lot about his character and priorities.

"I thought it was very meaningful when I read that he didn't make it back in time for his mother and since I lost my mother at a young age it made me think of that situation and him making the effort in the middle of his campaign to drop everything so that he says he doesn't make the same mistake twice says a lot about him," said Obama supporter, David Ginsburg.

Obama's mother died of cancer in 1995. He wasn't able to see her in time to say goodbye.

The Hawaii-born Senator's grandma is 85 years old. She helped put the Punahou grad through private school.

Obama flew into the Honolulu International Airport around 7:15 Thursday evening.

His motorcade quickly whisked him away from his private jet down Lagoon Drive, with police blocking off the street as the motorcade drove through.

The presidential hopeful will spend more time with Dunham on Friday before leaving Hawaii. His tutu's 86th birthday is on Sunday.

Senator Obama will return to the campaign trail on Saturday.

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