House

Obama: ‘You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect’

Former President Obama praised the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) as a “kind” and “honorable” man who treated others well despite his position of power culminating as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. 

Obama was among several top Democrats to eulogize Cummings, who died Oct. 17 at the age of 68, at a funeral service in Baltimore.

“He was never complacent, for he knew that without clarity of purpose and a steadfast faith and a dogged determination demanded by our liberty, the promise of this nation could wither. Complacency, he knew, was not only corrosive for our collective lives, but for our individual lives,” Obama said to applause.
 
“There’s nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There’s nothing weak about looking out for others. There’s nothing weak about being honorable. You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect,” Obama said. Some observers saw Obama’s comments as an implicit criticism of President Trump. 

 

Obama, standing in front of enlarged pictures of the late lawmaker, noted that Cummings was listed as “the honorable Elijah E. Cummings.”

“You know, this is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office. We’re supposed to introduce them as ‘honorable.’ But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office,” Obama said.

Before Obama spoke, other Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton also offered eulogies.

Cummings’s wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, at one point directed her remarks to Obama, telling him that her husband was “so proud.”

“To stand with you and for you early, to be your co-chair here in the state of Maryland, to serve as your chief defense attorney on the House Oversight Committee, and to make sure you and your administration were all right,” Rockeymoore Cummings said as Obama smiled.

“But you didn’t have any challenges like we got going on now,” Rockeymoore Cummings added.

The funeral service comes after Cummings laid in state at the Capitol on Thursday. He is the first African American lawmaker to receive the rare honor. 

Pelosi on Friday called Cummings a “master of the House” who was also “the mentor of the House,” while Hillary Clinton compared Cummings to his biblical namesake, the prophet Elijah.
“It is no coincidence, is it, that Elijah Cummings shared a name with an Old Testament prophet, whose name meant in Hebrew ‘the Lord is my God.’ And who used the power and the wisdom that God gave him to uphold the moral law that all people are subject to,” Clinton said.
 
“Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel,” Clinton said, drawing applause and laughter from the largely left-leaning crowd.
Tags Baltimore Barack Obama Bill Clinton Donald Trump Elijah Cummings Hillary Clinton Nancy Pelosi

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