Obama praises woman behind ‘Fired up’ chant as she retires

Columbine, S.C.: Former President Barack Obama, marking the retirement of the woman credited with popularizing the chant “Fired up, ready to go!” that epitomized his campaigns, says her energy played a key role in lifting his spirits and his candidacy.

“It was early in my campaign, and I wasn’t doing that good,” Obama recalled in a video by the Obama Foundation, harking back to a 2007 campaign stop in Greenwood, South Carolina, on a dreary, rainy day.

But the small crowd, Obama said, was transformed as Edith Childs led them in the rousing, back-and-forth chant, “Fired up, ready to go!”

“Leadership and power and inspiration can come from anywhere,” Obama said in the video to mark Childs’ retirement after 24 years on the Greenwood County Council. “It just has to do with spirit, and nobody embodied that better than Edith.”

“Fired up, ready to go!” swiftly became part of the Obama campaign’s ethos, manifested in T-shirts, signs and bumper stickers.

“Once we sang that song, it reminded us that, no matter what, we have to remain fired up and ready to go, and be prepared for whatever confronts you,” Childs said.

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