Sen. Barack Obama took a break from the campaign trail today to visit the grandmother who helped raised him, perhaps for the last time.
Obama's trip to Hawaii marked an unusually quiet, personal period for the senator during a campaign that continued to rage full-speed ahead back in the continental United States.
After spending about two hours with 85-year-old Madelyn Dunham in her apartment this morning, Obama, D-Ill., took a rare solitary moment to walk around the Makiki neighborhood in Honolulu where he grew up.
Dressed casually, a somber-looking Obama walked along Young Street outside his grandmother's apartment, a few blocks from the Punahou School he once attended.
Dunham, whom Obama affectionately calls "Toot," has been ill for some time and recently fell and broke her hip. Obama told ABC News' Robin Roberts that she is "gravely ill," but didn't elaborate.
Obama expressed his concern that his visit with Toot -- short for the Hawaiian word for grandmother, "Tutu" -- could be his last.
"I'm still not sure whether she makes it to Election Day," Obama told Roberts. "But one of the things I want to make sure of is that I had a chance to sit down and talk to her. She's still alert, and she's still got all her faculties."
Obama's grandmother, who helped build airplanes during World War II as a "Rosie the Riveter," has been an integral part of Obama's life -- essentially raising him.
"She's really been one of the cornerstones of my life," Obama said. "She was the financial rock of our family. She is a remarkable woman."
One of the reasons why Obama may be able to afford to take time away from the campaign trail 11 days before the election is his vast fundraising advantage. All over the country, he is outspending and outstaffing the John McCain campaign. His ground game, organization and infrastructure are considered, even by Republicans, to be vastly superior to his opponent's.
While Obama visited his grandmother, his campaign was hard at work back on the mainland.
In Akron, Ohio, Michelle Obama worked the phones, telling voters that Obama "is not a politician" and "one of the brightest men I know." The campaign says that since Labor Day it has contacted 1½ million voters in Ohio, a battleground state that went for President Bush twice.
Michelle Obama also held rallies in Akron and in Columbus, Ohio, where she stressed her husband's family background and his community organizing as signs that he understands the problems of everyday people.
While Michelle Obama made her stump speech, Obama's surrogates were out in full force, with running mate Sen. Joe Biden focusing on West Virginia and Sen. Hillary Clinton hitting Pennsylvania.
Biden attacked the Republican campaign for negative campaigning, particularly for using robocalls against Obama.
"We have to end this politics of division and divisiveness," Biden said. "End the scurrilous phone calls that are being paid for by the McCain campaign questioning Barack Obama's patriotism, questioning his character. Enough is enough!"
Hillary Clinton was in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania is one of the few states John Kerry won that Obama is defending, although he leads in polls there. Clinton voiced strong support for her former foe.
"I have been campaigning so hard for Barack Obama I lost my voice somewhere between Orlando, Fla., and Hibbing, Minn. If you find it send it to me OK?" Clinton said.