Fired Up Ready To Go


“I met one of those women in Greenwood, South Carolina. It was back early when we were way back in the polls. Nobody gave us much of a chance back then. I had gone to South Carolina early in the campaign to see what I could stir up in the way of endorsements, and I was at a legislative dinner sitting next to a state representative that I really wanted to endorse me. So I turned to her and I said “I really want your endorsement.” And she looked at me and said “I’ll tell you Obama, I will give you my endorsement if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina.” I must have had a sip of wine or something that night gecause right away I said “Okay, I’m coming.”

“So the next time I come to South Carolina it’s about a month later. We fly in about midnight. We get to the hotel about one o’clock in the morning. I’am exhausted. I’m dragging my bags to my room when I get a tap on my shoulder and l look back and it is one of my staff who says ”Senator we need tob e out of the hotel at 6a.m.” I say “why is that?” He says “because we have to go to Greenwood, like you promised.”
“So the next morning I wake up and I feel terrible, nad I think I am coming down with a cold, my back sore, I feel worse than when I went to bed. I open up the curtains in the hotel room to gret some sunlight in and hopefully wake me uo, but it’s pouring down rain. I go outside my room and get the New York times, and there is a bad story about me in the New York Times.  I go downstairs after I pack, and my umbrella blows open and I get soaked, so by the time I get in the car i am mad, i am wet and I am sleepy.”

“We drive , and drive, and we drive. It turns out that Greenwood is about an hour and a half from everywhere else. Finally we get to Greenwood.”

“First of all you do not know you’re in Greenwood when you get to Greenwood, there  aren’t a lot of tall bnuildings in Greenwood. We pull off to a small building – a little field house in a park – and we go inside, and low and behold, after an hour and a half drive, turns out there are 20 people there. Twenty people. They look all kind of damp and sleepy, maybe they aren’t really excited to be here either.”

“But I am a professional. I’ve got to do what I got to do. I’m going around, I’m shaking hands, I am sayimg “How are you doing? What are you doing?” As I go around the room suddenly I hear this voice cry out behind me “fired up.” I’m shocked. I jumped up. I don’t know whats is going on. But everyone else acts as though this were normal and they say “fired up.” The I hear this voice say “ready to go.” And 20 people in the room act like this happens all the time and say “ready to go.”

“I don’t know what’s going on so I looked behind me and there is this small woman, about 60 years old, a little over 5 feet, looks like she just came from church – she’s got on a bog church hat. She’s standing there, she looks at me and she smiles and says “fired up.”

“It turns out that she was a city Councilwoman from Greenwood who also moonlights as a private detective. I’m not making this up. And it turns out that she is famous for her chant. She does this where ever she goes. She says “fired up” and the people say “fired up”, and she says “ready to go” and the say “reday to go.”

“For the next five minutes she proceeds to do this. “Fired up?” and everyone says “fired up” and she says “ready to go” and they say “ready to go.” I’m standing there and I’m thinking I’m being outflanked by this woman. She’s stealing my thunder. I lokk ar my staff and they shrugged their shoulders, they don’t know how long this is going to go on.”

But here’s the thing, Vitginia. After a minute or so i am feeling kind od fored up. I’m feeling reday to go. So I joint the chant. For the rest of the day, even after we left Greenwood, even though it was still raining, even though i was still not getting big crowds anywhere, even though we hadn’t gotten the endorsement from the people we were hpoing for, somehow I felt a little lighter, a little better, I’d see my staff and i would say “Are you fired up?” And they would say “we are fired up, boss, are you reday to go?” and I’d say ”I’m ready to go.”

“Here’s my point, Virginia. That’s how this thing started. It shows what one voice can do. That one voice can change a room. And if one voice can change a room, it can change a city, and if one voice can change a city, it can change a state, and if one voice can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world.”

“Virginia, your voice can change the world tomorrow. In 21 hours if you are willing to endure the rain, if you are willing to drag that person you know who is not going to vote, to the polls. If you are willing to organize and volunteer in the offices, if you are willing to stand with me, if you are willing to fight with me, I know you voice matter.”

“So I have just one question for you Virginia. Are you fired up? Ready to go? Fired up. Ready to go. Fired up. Ready to go. Fired up. Ready to go. Fired up Ready to go.”

“Virginia, let’s go change the world. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”

Als u het dit verhaal van zelf wil horen kijk dan naar het bijgaande You Tube flimpje: The Story of “Fired up! Ready to Go!” door Edith S. Childs from Greenwood, South Carolina.