There’s sad, sad news today in the world of politics: the death of powerful Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland.
The Associated Press obituary — which will be the one many thousands of Americans read — captures key highlights of Cummings’ prominent life.
Yes, those highlights include clashing with President Donald Trump:
BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a sharecropper’s son who rose to become a civil rights champion and the chairman of one of the U.S. House committees leading an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, died Thursday of complications from longstanding health problems. He was 68.
Cummings was a formidable orator who advocated for the poor in his black-majority district , which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore and more well-to-do suburbs.
As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led investigations of the president’s government dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to Trump’s family members serving in the White House.
But read the full AP report, and it’s clear that something is missing.
AP offers hints of a potential religious influence in Cummings’ life, including here:
It steeled Cummings to prove that counselor wrong. He became not only a lawyer, but one of the most powerful orators in the statehouse, where he entered office in 1983. He rose to become the first black House speaker pro tem. He would begin his comments slowly, developing his theme and raising the emotional heat until it became like a sermon from the pulpit.
Hmmmmm. Why might Cummings’ oratory have resembled a sermon?