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Elijah Cumming's funeral: Obama, Clintons honor their old friend



For nearly four hours, 4,000 people, including two former US presidents, mourned the longtime Democratic legislator, the son of stockbrokers who had risen from South Baltimore to Congress.

Said former President Barack Obama, who sat in the front row of the New Psalmist Baptist Church with Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the congressman's widow; Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton; and former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential candidate. "And now it's up to us to continue his work."

The ministry ̵

1; sometimes joyful, sometimes solemn and sometimes funny – offered a noble public service vision in which elected officials work together and compromise to achieve a goal of public good. It was a very different atmosphere with the political leaders of each party than the bitterly divided impeachment investigation that took place 50 miles away in Washington.

Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rockeymoore Cummings pointed to the contrast.

"He was a man of the highest integrity! Do you hear me? He had integrity. And he took care of our democracy! Said Rockeymoore Cummings, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party. "He wanted to make sure that we leave a society worthy of our children."

Rockymore Cummings turned to Hillary Clinton, a former Foreign Minister and candidate for Democratic Presidential in 2016, and recalled how her husband exploited his leadership position in supporting Obama's administration during the Benghazi hearings.

"Oh my goodness. He spent many hours defending you against false claims, "said Rockeymoore Cummings.

When the Democrats took control of the house last year, Cumming's chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform worked to fight for the very soul of our democracy against real corruption, "she added.

As Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Cummings headed investigations against Trump's White House and vigorously opposed the separation of children from their parents at the southern border, working to keep an immigration issue away from the US census.

While maintaining close friendships with Congressional and Democratic Republicans, he was temporarily targeted by the White House. This summer, Trump attacked Cumming's beloved Baltimore as a crime-ridden, rat-ridden city and asked why anyone wanted to live there.

The comments "injured" Cummings, his widow told mourning on Friday The last few months of his life are more difficult.

Trump chose a different tone on Friday at a forum for criminal justice reform in South Carolina in front of a predominantly African-American audience.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Elijah Cummings celebrating his life in Baltimore today," he said, recalling talks with Cummings about reducing prescription drug prices. "He had a very strong passion for it. We will make it … I would like to express my warmest respect, please.

Hillary Clinton called Cumming's "Our Elijah" and won applause and applause from the overcrowded sanctuary as she did something that seemed biblical. "Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down the fire from heaven. He also prayed and worked for the healing, "she said. "Like the Prophet, he opposed the corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel."

Obama, the last politician, pointed to the huge video screens flanking the stage and announcing "The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings." "

" This is a title we lend to all kinds of people elected to public office, "Obama said, adding a little laughter." But Elijah Cummings was honored before being elected to Congress … As President, I could always count on Elijah to be honorable and do the right thing. "

Mourners began hiring the New Psalmist before the funeral and a visit that preceded her Traffic stopped half a mile away.

During the service, gospel singer BeBe Winans and a parade of speakers – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Former Congressman and NAACP Chief Kweisi Mfume, former colleague Jon Alexander , Friends and Mentors – Honored All Aspects of Cummings' Life.

Jennifer Cummings, 37, said her dad was forever amazed that he had her in her birth could hold one hand. "This life, my life, in your hands," she said.

Cummings, she added, taught her the power of her "beauty and brilliance". He wanted her to know that her "rich brown skin was as beautiful as" alabaster or any color of the rainbow "and insisted on buying her brown dolls to reinforce this message.

Adia Cummings, speaking after her sister, asked her father's congressional staff to attend and be recognized. Dozens of people stood up.

James Cummings, the congressman's younger brother, revealed that the family was called Elijah Cummings, nicknamed "Bobby." Mfume described a lifetime of civil rights activism and deep friendship. Alexander said that his boss was late for voting in the house because he had stopped to help a driver in distress.

During his eulogy, Obama recalled the "prophetic voice" of the congressman, a deep baritone he called "just." You felt better. And he told a story about Cumming's father, who got his son to clean his shoes, put on a tie, and drive to the airport-not to board the planes, but others to watch, who could afford to do it.

"I did not fly," his father told him. "I can not fly. But you will fly someday. "

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), How to Biden a Presidential Candidate in 2020; and Republican representatives Louie Gohmert (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Mark Meadows (NC) and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan were also among the thousands of worshipers that rockymore Cummings had planned in every detail.

Shortly before he died on October 17, Cumming's & # 39; caregivers rolled his hospital bed on the roof of Johns Hopkins University Hospital at the age of 68, so he could feel the sun on his skin, Rockeymoore Cummings said.

He looked out over the Inner Harbor, where he ate ice cream with his daughter Jennifer in healthier times; to South Baltimore, where he grew up with his parents and six siblings; to West Baltimore, where he marched with a megaphone and demanded peace after Freddie Gray, a young, unarmed black man, had died of police custody.

Rockeymoore Cummings recalled her husband's words, "Boy, did I come? long way.

Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.


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