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Edith Childs Tips Her Hat to the President

By Garance Franke-Ruta
As President Obama sought to reassure the nation -- and Congress -- Wednesday night about his health reform plans, one old acquaintance who figured prominently in an earlier presidential speech this week had some reassuring words for him.

Edith Childs, the Greenwood, S.C., councilwoman famed for her church-lady hat and "Fired Up? Ready to Go!" chant that roused first candidate Barack Obama and then his campaign rallies during campaign 2008, said she still prays for the president and his family and staff "in the morning when I get out of bed and at night before I close my eyes, because one thing I do know is that prayer changes things. And the president is going to be OK."

Childs watched Obama's speech with her husband in her living room in Greenwood, and, in a call to The Post, pronounced herself "very pleased with the speech from the president."

"I think that people feel a little more comfortable now, because fear of the unknown is what bothers most people," she said.

One thing she wasn't so pleased with: the outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson, a GOP congressman from her state who shouted out "You lie!" when Obama said the reform plans would not cover illegal immigrants.

"Some people when they have been confronted about their own untruths, then they have to blame somebody," she said, adding with a laugh: "He's definitely not in my district -- definitely not from Greenwood."

As for Obama, her high hopes for him haven't dimmed. "I think he's doing exceptional ... and I still believe he is going to be one of the best presidents ever. That hasn't changed from day one and it's not going to change now."

Posted at 9:48 PM ET on Sep 9, 2009  | Category:  Cast of Characters
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kjaj0114 is definitely one of those status quo lobbyists or health insurance industry agents who seem to say so much and mean so little other than to ask for more time, more bipartisanship, more studies, and incremetalism knowing that, historically, that has been the tactics to kill any reform. Even kjaj0114 will eventually support reform when his economic circumstances so change and his current coverage is cherry picked and watered down when he really needs it.

Posted by: loveforall | September 13, 2009 12:12 PM

To me, the only person who can really appreciate how gifted Obama is as a political leader is Hillary Clinton.

But, let's not forget, Hillary prepared Obama...through tough debates...about what was to come.

I hope Hillary runs and wins, in 2012...followed by Obama in 2016, etc...

You get the picture.

Posted by: jamdn463 | September 11, 2009 2:19 PM

I am in total agreement with George Herbet. Our President is inspirational. I thank God for him every day.

Posted by: jiggssma2 | September 11, 2009 9:57 AM

I am with The President now,later,much later,and................! Should there be any question about my lolaty or level of support.

I have Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance, everyone isn't so fortunate.

Posted by: obrown1033 | September 10, 2009 5:08 PM

I think Joe Wilson and Eric Cantor must work for the Democrats--maybe not paid, but wonderful volunteers.

They, and others, remind me of the guy here in Wisconsin who wanted to drill holes in the bottom of the boat to drain out the water that was leaking in.

Posted by: bulldog6 | September 10, 2009 1:38 PM

Senator Reid, the Senate Majority Leader said recently that President Obama might include the administration's healthcare reform bill in his address to the joint session Wednesday evening. It is tradition in state of the Union addresses by past presidents. This did not happen in January 2009 and the Reid prediction did not come about. I urge the president to adhere to tradition to perform his role - do propose and let Congress dispose. If the administration's proposal is DOA (dead on arrival) that is the risk he must take. I used to work in then Department of Health, Education & Welfare; and also for the late Senator William V.Roth (R-DE)who was on the Senate Fiance Committee; and the late Senator Hiram L. Fong (R-HI) who was Ranking Member of the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee; and also on the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. One of my staff responsibilities was National Health Insurance. President Nixon proposed CHIP to enact National Health Insurance as also did the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Folks interested in this important issue should log on the debates of that era and the media vidios of key journalists long gone. The projected start up costs were in billions, then dollars. A small proposal to include eye glasses for Medicare was estimated to cost $4 billion in the first year. Kennedy even proposed insurance premiums for welfare recipients. A compromise between two kep proponents of early 1970's would have resulted in a bipartisan National Health Insurance which have matured over 39 decades! Hinesight is 20/20 better than foresight over fuzzy and cloudy future outcome. Too bad the Office of Scient and Technology (OTA), similary to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was eliminated. There could have been comprehensive and credible and objective analyses of critical and important legislatives issues that mandate the welfare and cost of every U.S. citizen for the millenium before us. No presidential passion and grandiose vision, no matter how appealing to mobs right and left should be sought with limited time horizon. Such matters of immense import to society at large should not be advanced for free health care of a relatively small percent of 400 plus million citizens.
The models now in being in Massachusetts and Hawaii should serve as tryouts for national adoption. Better yet, let each State do its own. Americans can choose which state they wish to adopt as their legal home state, not only for health care considerations, but also for tax on retirement income, or sales tax concerns.
People that favor pro-choice should advocate pro-choice on where they are to be born, where they want to go to school, where they prefer to work - union or non union, and where they want to retire and which state to be registerd as home state for voting. That is American freedom in toto, simple and pure.

Posted by: kjaj0114 | September 10, 2009 12:20 PM

The recent educational inspirational talk by President Obama is appropriate in content but I question the subliminal motive. Was it to win over high school graduates to vote for his second term? Or over the term limit to go for constitutional amendment to eliminate term limit so that he can be president for ever?
A wild speculation but scary. The speech is appropriate if the president were speaking as PTA president at his children's school. Such presidential speeches belong to weekend radio addresses but not to earmarked or targeted studnets to embed political objectives. It is better to delegate such public addreses to the Secretary of Education.

Posted by: kjaj0114 | September 10, 2009 11:30 AM

Joe Wilson's congressional career is over. ANYONE who runs against him can count on an avalanche of contributions from across the nation.

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | September 9, 2009 10:37 PM

I agree with this lady. Obama is amazing.

It's not just his talent as an orator, either. Obama's intellect and thoughtfulness are almost shocking in this age of politicians who seem not to know how to speak in anything but oft-repeated, empty phrases.

Obama's ability to put all of this in a larger moral context is not just presidential. It is inspirational.

The man is a role model to young and old alike.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | September 9, 2009 10:16 PM

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