Obama visiting Grandma, McCain POW video released

Here’s a little departure from the back-and-forth of the campaign trail for some stories which register more on the emotional side of the dial. First, Sen. Obama is taking a couple days off to visit his ailing Grandmother in Hawaii, fearing her health is deteriorating. Also today, footage of Sen. McCain as a POW in Vietnam was released by a French news agency which interviewed him in the Hanoi Hilton at the time.

Report on Obama’s departure from Politico:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — With only 12 days until the election, Barack Obama will take himself out of public view Thursday for almost two full days to travel to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother.

Campaign aides told media accompanying Obama to Honolulu that they can expect to see little of the candidate during the trip, other than routine shots of him walking to and from the motorcade.

“This is an opportunity for him to spend personal time with his grandmother, a woman who has played a significant role in his life,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday.

Obama is expected to arrive on the island around 7 p.m. local time and head to the downtown apartment building where he grew up and where his 85-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, still resides. He will spend Friday with her before leaving in the late afternoon for Reno, Nev., where he will resume campaigning Saturday.

Video of Obama discussing this from Sky News:

God bless his Grandmother as this is much more personal that political.

Next, some very fascinating footage of John McCain as a prisoner of war was released today by a French news agency, here’s the report from USAToday followed by the video:

PARIS (AP) — A French national archive has posted online extended footage of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain being interviewed as a bedridden prisoner during the Vietnam War.

French reporter Francois Chalais conducted the interview. His widow says the online release this week of 4 minutes, 33 seconds of footage is the fullest distribution of the interview since it first aired four decades ago.

The video shows McCain shirtless and unshaven, smoking a cigarette. Answering questions from Chalais, he spoke about being shot down over Hanoi on Oct. 25, 1967, and parachuting into a lake.

At times, when speaking of his family, McCain’s lower lip trembles and his voice breaks.

“I was on a flight over the city (Hanoi) … and I was bombing and I was hit by a missile or anti-aircraft fire, I’m not sure which,” he said, adding that his plane “went straight down.”

After landing in the lake, McCain said he “was picked up and taken to the hospital, where I almost died.”

In the interview, McCain said he was treated well by his Vietnamese captors. Asked about the food, he told his French interviewer, “It’s not like Paris … (but) I eat it.”

The exact date of the interview is not clear, but it appeared to be taken in late 1967.

The French national audiovisual archive INA is posting the interview on its website, www.ina.fr, for one week. It was first broadcast on French television program Panorama in January 1968.

Here is about four and a half minutes, not sure if this is all of it or not:

Can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

  • I hope Obama’s granny hangs in there till the elections. I know his visit tosee her isn’t political but I can’t help thinking that it’ll work to his advantage, especially Florida where there’s a lot of elderly people.

  • Babs

    You can forget that, pudding. Obama’s new revision to his tax plan just cut out all those retirees in Florida. If you think he’ll get some sympathy votes from them, I’ll disagree.

    With all due respect to Obama and his grandmother, I just have to say this. If I were told that my grandmother was “gravely” ill, I wouldn’t wait almost a week before going, and my spouse would be there with me. No offense, just telling it like it is.

  • Deb

    Babs.. I agree with you. If my grandmother was gravely ill I would want to take my family with me so that they could see each other possibly one last time. Michelle said today she was doing fine. I thought a few days ago she was gravely ill. Did she have a miracle recovery.

  • AndyJ

    Yes, the interview with John McCain is quite gripping. I only regret that we have no footage of, nor interviews with the people that had been living in the city that John McCain had bombed just before being shot down. One can assume that these people, too, would have had some stories to tell us.

  • My mother passed away in May Babs and I knew she was gravely ill, but I wasn’t prepared to take my family all that way to see her.

    We all have our different reasonings for doing things and the fact you’re knocking Obama for his, just shows your real contempt for the guy. For once, can’t you just give the guy a break?

  • Pats

    I hope this comment will be posted now. I’ve been trying since yesterday but no success. In McCain’s clip there is a segment by Lt Philip Butler. Did any body note his last statement? “John McCain’s temperament makes it clear that he’s not cut out to be president of US”

  • Babs

    Sure, pud, I’ll give him a break. When are you going to answer my question on your donation to him?

  • I did answer it Babs in another thread. Obama’s campaign can keep my donation, at the very least it’ll buy some beers 😉 I would have donated to Palins campaign but she costs too much…LMAO

  • Paul

    America is quite a place! McCain and Obama, one laying on a prison bed in Viet Nam, and Obama, at the tender age of like 8 or something, hanging out with his islamic step-dad in Indonesia, until they shipped him to fend for himself in Hawaii. Is that when he became a crack-head? I don’t have his timeline down completely. Could someone help me with that? I guess they were both “prisoners”. McCain to humans, and Obama to Cocaine.

    Seriously though, I’m sort of poor, so I can’t wait to get some not so hard earned money from people that actually worked for it. It sounds like I’m joking, but I live in my mother-in-law’s basement, and I need to get 1st and last months rent together so my wife, child and me can move out! SPREAD THE WEALTH!!!

  • Babs

    Actually, Obama went to elite private schools in Hawaii, I doubt the food stamp story is any where near the truth.

    I hope you’re employed, because if you’re not, Obama has cut you out of the “spread the wealth” program. 😉