Exactly eight years ago Barack Obama faced his first presidential election and the mantra “Fired up, ready to go!” perfectly summed up the mood and tenor of the time. Casting his mind back to then, America’s orator-in-chief recalled the anecdote which led to the fabled phrase.
Urging New Hampshire voters to get “fired up” and vote for Hillary Clinton in the critical state, Mr Obama made his final solo plea for voters on Election Day Eve on Monday and it was one of his most heartfelt yet.
Mr Obama recalled the time he was campaigning in Greenwood on the campaign trail in 2008. He talked of how he was tired and “groggy” and “soaked” with rain.
But was one woman stood out and caught his eye. ”There’s this middle-aged woman and she’s dressed like she just came from church,” he tells the audience. “She’s got a big church hat and I think a gold tooth. Turns out she holds a position in the local NAACP office and is also a private detective”.
The woman he is referring to is Edith Childs – a politician who served on the Greenwood, South Carolina, county council. A key figure in the community, Childs has done much to establish after school programs for the community’s youth, offer holiday meals for the unemployed and provide school supplies for underprivileged young people.
“Apparently she is known wherever she goes by saying this chant and everybody knows her so they know that when she says ‘fired up’ they say ‘fired up’ and when she says ready to go, everybody has got to say ‘ready to go’.”
“But the interesting thing is after a while I am starting to get kind of ‘fired up’, I’m starting to feel like I’m ‘ready to go’,” he says of the chant which in turn prompted a movement.
“One voice can change a room,” Mr Obama concludes his speech by saying. “And if it can change a room, it can change a city and if it can change a city, it can change a state and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation it can change the world.”
“So I just have one question for you New Hampshire – Are you fired up? Ready to go? Fired up? Ready to go?” he shouts, sparking a lively call and response with the audience.
“Lets go finish what we started. Lets elect Hillary Clinton.”