(Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II may have out-shined naturally charismatic former President Bill Clinton when he commanded the stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
The Missouri congressman and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus abandoned his prepared remarks to deliver a fiery sermon-like message in his push for Americans to re-elect President Barack Obama to another term in the White House.
Video clips of Rep. Cleaver's explosive remarks blanketed the Web Thursday and many who had tuned in to DNC coverage could not get over his message, and how he delivered it:
"Emanuel Cleaver's got me fired up! #HOPEON #DNC2012," tweeted Zack Ford.
"Emanuel Cleaver is bringing down the house. It's like a religious revival," wrote Josh Dorner.
"Wow. Just wow. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) just delivered one hell of a speech," Joshua Miller tweeted.
Joe Briggs found Cleaver's remarks ironic, considering the controversy over Democrats' tussle with excluding and then grudgingly reinstating "God" into the party platform.
"(People) saying there was no God at the DNC today must have missed Rev. Emanuel Cleaver's speech," Briggs tweeted, adding the hashtag "#SpokeLife."
Cleaver, who holds a Master's in Theology and is a pastor in the United Methodist Church, got Democrats especially riled up and to their feet when he said, "No matter what, Mr. President, you keep on hoping! When everything is gone, you continue to hope. As long as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sits on the throne of grace, Mr. President -- Hope on! Hope on! Hope on!"
In addition to the rallying call for Obama and his supporters to "hope on," the CBC chairman suggested that partisan politics on Capital Hill was doing harm to the country and hampering progress.
A video clip of his remarks was published online by BuzzFeed, who also shared an animated image of Cleaver doing what they term the "hope on shuffle."
A transcript of Cleaver's prepared remarks show that his theme had indeed centered on "hope," and that the Missouri congressman did not veer too far from the original plan:
President Barack Obama has been lampooned for speaking of hope; hope for a better America. I want to encourage him and all of us to continue to hope for an America that remembers, recognizes, and fervently protects its greatness.
Yes, President Obama! Continue to have hope. Continue to speak of hope to the American people, because it is impossible for hope to overdraw its account in God's bank. The tough days our nation faced may have caused us great pain, but they must not and will not cause us to lose our hope. Hope fills the holes of my frustration in my heart. Hope inspires me to believe that any day now, we will catch up to the ideals put forth by our nation's founding fathers. Hope is the motivation that empowers the unemployed, enabling them to get out of bed every single morning with unbounded enthusiasm as they look for work. It is our hope and faith that move us to action. It is our hope and faith that reminds us to pray and also affirms that we must move our feet. It is our hope that tells us our latter days will be greater than the former. It is our hope that instructs us to march on!
Cleaver also made headlines last summer when he referred to a debt deal agreed upon by the White House and the Senate as "a sugar-coated satan sandwich," which he later explained to NPR.