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Clinton memorializes Cummings for standing 'against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel'

 
"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," the former secretary of State said in her remarks eulogizing Cummings at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore.
 
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"Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel," Clinton said, drawing roaring applause and laughter from the crowd.

 

The remark appeared to be a veiled shot at President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE, who defeated Clinton, the Democratic nominee, in the 2016 presidential race. 

Not everyone in the crowd found the comparison amusing, however: Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day McCarthy won't back effort to oust Cheney MORE (Ohio), the ranking Republican on the Oversight and Reform Committee and top Trump ally, sat unsmiling as Democrats around him applauded appreciatively.

Clinton praised Cummings, who served as Oversight committee chairman until his death on Oct. 17, as a "guiding light" in Congress.

"He liked to remind all of us that you can't get so caught up in who you are fighting that you forget what you are fighting for," Clinton said.  

"Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven. But he also prayed and worked for healing. He weathered storms and earthquakes, but never lost his faith," she said.

The prophet Elijah, in Biblical accounts, clashed with Jezebel and Ahab over their interference in worshipping the Hebrew god, Yahweh.  

A who's who of top Democratic leaders were slated to speak at the funeral for Cummings, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN MORE (D-Calif.) and former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Why aren't more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Biden's Cabinet? MORE.

Pelosi praised Cummings as a "master of the House" who was also "the mentor of the House."

"All members – whether new or not – benefitted from the generosity of his spirit," Pelosi said.

The day before, Cummings became the first African American lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol. Lawmakers held a memorial service in Statuary Hall, the old House chamber, before his casket was moved right outside the current House chamber for a public viewing. Cummings's casket was placed in front of the main door to the chamber, which was opened to offer a view of the dais.

Thousands of people, including Trump administration officials like Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Overnight Health Care: Biden signs first executive actions as president | Amazon offers to help Biden with vaccine distribution | Pence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden Sanders's inauguration look promptly gets a bobblehead MORE and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Two-thirds say the election was fair: poll The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other MORE, came to pay their respects as Cummings laid in state.

"Elijah often said his philosophy was simple: Do something. Go out and do something," Clinton said. "I think that remains his challenge to each of us. As he said, even if it seems small, there's usually something you can do if you are looking for it."