How Obama's Family Emergency Will Effect Campaign

The old saying in politics, and other aspects of life, is "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."

That’s in a perfect world, of course.

Suddenly, Democrat Barak Obama must change course in his campaign because of his ailing 85 year-old grandmother in Hawaii, who he has defined as the cornerstone of his childhood.

He will travel to and from Hawaii over a two-day period this coming Thursday and Friday.

The Obama folks portray this deviation as a brief blip for important family reasons.

In fact, this unfortunate event will force the campaign to change its rhythm for closer to a week, beginning today.

Planning such a trip on such short notice will be a distraction for schedulers and strategists.

Obama will have his share of headaches as well—you don’t make a 10,000 mile round trip over such a short time frame without feeling it mentally and physically.

Whatever the merits of Obama’s decision, it’s an unexpected opening for Republican John McCain to seize the news headlines.

McCain must be careful not to attack Obama in a moment of family crisis, lest he generate public sympathy for the Illinois Senator.

Surgically applied, however, McCain has the opportunity to own the limelight at a valuable point in the campaign.

With two weeks to go, any change from the norm can bring unpredictable consequences.

What remains to be seen is whether McCain can capitalize on this opportunity as Obama temporarily excuses himself from the campaign trail.

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