Barack Obama delivered an inspiring eulogy for Elijah Cummings stressing the importance of being kind and ‘honorable’ like the late Rep, and unlike Donald Trump.
Former President Barack Obama honored the late Congressman Elijah Cummings in a powerful, beautiful eulogy during his October 25 funeral. Obama, 58, spoke at length about the meaning of being “honorable” and the importance of being “kind,” characteristics exemplified by the Democratic Maryland representative, and skirted by his opponents. Though Obama never mentioned him by name, it seemed clear that he was referring to President Donald Trump, who thoroughly mocked and insulted the late politician, who died on October 17 at the age of 68. “[Honorable] 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,” Obama said to laughter. “But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office.”
Later in his eulogy, the former president said, “Being a strong man includes being kind. There’s nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There’s nothing weak about looking out for others… You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.” Cummings, before succumbing to a decades-long battle with an undisclosed illness, lead the House impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. The president increased his attacks on the congressman on Twitter over the summer, calling him a “racist” and “a brutal bully” who has “done a very poor job” representing his constituents and “failed badly!” He insulted Cummings’ predominantly black Congressional district of Baltimore as “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” a “dangerous” place where “no human being” would want to live.
Trump changed his tune after Cummings’ death, tweeting out his condolences in a bizarrely measured message: “My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”
Former President Obama remembers Rep. Elijah Cummings: “Being a strong man includes being kind. There’s nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There’s nothing weak about looking out for others… You’re not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.” pic.twitter.com/YqQ5miyq1R
— CNN (@CNN) October 25, 2019
The president did not attend Cummings’ funeral, which featured bible readings and speeches from politicians like Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Obama. The Baptist church in Baltimore was filled with Cummings’ mourning family and colleagues from DC; Joe Biden and John Lewis could be spotted in the congregation. Cummings, the pastor stressed at the beginning of the hours-long service, had personally selected who would speak at the funeral.
Secretary Clinton got in a subtle jab at Trump, as well, saying in her eulogy that it was apt that Cummings’ parents named him after the biblical Elijah: “He also prayed and worked for healing. He weathered storms and earthquakes, but never lost his faith. Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.”