“Steely Yet Compassionate”: Barack Obama Eulogizes Elijah Cummings

The former president released a statement in honor of the late chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Rep. Elijah Cummings welcomes Barack Obama onstage at a presidential campaign event in 2007.Marvin Joseph/Getty

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Former President Barack Obama expressed his grief over the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) Thursday, calling the late House Oversight Committee chairman “steely yet compassionate, principled yet open to new perspectives.”

“He showed us all not only the importance of checks and balances within our democracy, but also the necessity of good people stewarding it,” Obama wrote in a statement. “True to the giants of progress he followed into public service, Chairman Cummings stood tallest and most resolute when our country needed him the most.”

Cummings, one of Obama’s earliest supporters for president, co-chaired his campaign in Maryland in 2008.

Read the statement below:

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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