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Christina Bellantoni

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Woman who inspired Obama's 'Fired up' urges prayers for the president

Posted: 09/17/09 02:16 PM ET

First published at WashingtonTimes.com

Readers of this blog know all about Edith Childs, the woman who inspired President Obama's "fired up" slogan. I was the first reporter to find her two years ago.


Obama just wrapped up a dramatic re-telling of the story, which he used to tell in Iowa in 2007, following his health care rally in College Park today.


The campaign looked at her story as a symbol for Obama at his best, engaging voters on how one voice can affect change.


Closing his rally, Obama boomed: "I need your voice! I want to know, are you fired up? Ready to go?"


As if on cue, the crowd thundered the call-and-response back and Obama concluded, just as he did on the campaign trail, "Let's go change the world."


The White House has returned to the spirit of the story, putting it on the home page earlier this week.



I tracked Childs down to ask if she minds being used again, and the major Obama fan she is, she said she's thrilled.


"It’s just an honor that he has not forgotten about Greenwood," Childs told me.


It surprised me, however, that she hasn't heard from Obama or anyone at the White House since the inauguration.


"I did not expect to, because he has a lot of things he needs to do and I’m on the bottom of the list," she said. "When there is time, he will find time at some point and I definitely don’t expect it to be this year."


Childs said she's confident the health care fight will work out and urged Americans to pray for the president.


"As my grandma used to say, 'It’s prayin' time now.' And when you get done praying, get up and do something constructive," Childs said.


She also said she found Rep. Joe Wilson to be "embarrassing" to South Carolina: "I've never seen anything like that in all my life," she said of his outburst last week. "We all have moments where we are saying 'Yes' and 'No' and 'You're crazy,' but we keep that in our head!"


 


— Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent, The Washington Times


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