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

Hillary Clinton praised Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) as someone who lived up to his Old Testament name by standing up against the “corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel,” a line that drew heavy applause at Friday’s memorial service for the late lawmaker. 
 
“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.
 
“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 Trump, who defeated Clinton, the Democratic nominee, in the 2016 presidential race. 

Not everyone in the crowd found the comparison amusing, however: Rep. Jim Jordan (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 Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

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 Pence and Attorney General William Barr, 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.”

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