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President Obama and the rest of Washington give powerful tributes to Elijah Cummings

President Obama and the rest of Washington give powerful tributes to Elijah Cummings

The United States lost a giant of the Congress, an elemental force for good, and a genuine American hero with the death of Representative Elijah Cummings early this morning. The Maryland Democrat was 68 when he passed away from ongoing health complications at John Hopkins Hospital.

Cummings served his country up until the end,  and spent his last years as the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, working to hold President Trump accountable and curtail his destructive agenda wherever possible. He was one of three Democratic chairmen spearheading the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

While this valiant and necessary service defined in some part his final years, it is far from the defining feature of his life. Cummings devotedly served his Congressional district for 23 years, building a reputation for courage in the face of power and a genuine compassion and desire to improve the lives of his constituents. His legacy will echo for generations and he stands as a testament to what brave, honorable men and women can accomplish when they harness the levers of government to help their fellow Americans.

There has been an overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt sentiments in the wake of Cummings’s death. He was loved by many and respected even by his avowed political opponents, as sure a sign as any that he lived a full, powerful life.

Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to say that he and former First Lady Michelle are heartbroken by the news and to share his belief that Cummings’s life will inspire Americans to follow his example.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi mourned Cummings, calling him “our North Star,” a beautiful, succinct encapsulation of what he meant to so many of us.

Numerous Democratic candidates for president also shared their feelings about Cummings and while they varied in style and content, they all relayed a deep sense of loss as well as a sincere appreciation for the beloved Congressman and his work.

The four Congresswomen affectionately referred to as the “Squad” shared some moving tributes to Cummings.

Even some of Cummings’s Republican counterparts felt the need to honor his memory.

President Trump tweeted out “condolences” as well, though one questions whether or not he wrote the tweet himself giving some of the shameful things he’s said about Cummings in the past. In any case, you can rest assured that long after the name of Donald Trump has receded into the dark corners of our history books that of Elijah Cummings will remain illuminated like a beacon, gesturing us towards a brighter, more just future.

Rob Haffey can be found on Twitter here.

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