Barack Obama ripped through three battleground states on Monday, urging supporters to vote on Election Day. Despite having a strong lead in many polls, Obama told voters in Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Manassas Park, Virginia; that they couldn’t let up. “Not when we have so much at stake,” he said.
Standing in the rain in Charlotte, he started his speech with a comment about his beloved grandmother, who had died earlier in the day. “It’s a little bit of a bittersweet time for me…. Some of you have heard that my grandmother, who helped raise me, passed away this morning. Look, she is gone home and passed away peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. So there is great joy and tears. I won’t talk about it too long,” he said, catching himself and wiping his eyes, “because it’s hard to talk about it.”
Just before taking to the stage in Charlotte, Obama made one campaign office drop-in where he shook hands and posed for pictures with volunteers. He even made a few phone calls to ask voters to please go to the polls on Tuesday. He made no statement to reporters about his grandmother’s passing. Instead, he looked upbeat and energetic. But at one point while he was working the phones, the person on the other end must have mentioned home health-care issues. Obama turned his back to reporters and said to the person on the phone, “Obviously this is happening in my own family…. My grandmother stayed at home until recently.” At that point, his spirits deflated. Looking sad and somber, he put down the phone.