With 15 days to go before the US elections, Barack Obama will suspend campaigning on Thursday to visit his sick grandmother in Hawaii.
The news came as the Democratic presidential candidate made a rare joint appearance with former foe Hillary Clinton on the stump in Florida: “Now is the time to close the deal for Barack Obama and close the book on eight years of failed Republican leadership,” she told an estimated crowd of 50,000.
Obama focused on the economic crisis, which has hit those in Florida hard: “I can take a few more weeks of John McCain’s attacks but the American people can’t take four more years of these failed economic policies. That is why I am running for President of the United States of America.”
Campaigning in Missouri, Republican John McCain also concentrated on the economy, urging voters to keep the faith: “I’m an American and I choose to fight. Don’t give up hope, be strong, have courage and fight. Fight for a new direction for our country, fight for what’s right for America.”
Early voting has already got underway in Florida, ahead of the election in two weeks time. Around a third of US electors are expected to cast their vote early this time around.
Florida, a battleground state, has 27 electoral votes and would be a prize for either candidate in their quest for the 270 needed to win the White House.