U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver did not disappoint Thursday when delivering a short speech to delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, started out by talking to Republicans, quietly.
“If your party is no longer becoming to you, then you should be coming to us,” he said.
He said he has known nominee Hillary Clinton for more than 25 years.
“She’s never let me down,” the Methodist minister said, “and she won’t let you down either.”
But Cleaver’s inner preacher emerged at the end of his remarks, when he told the story of a boy who often wrestled with former president Andrew Jackson.
The wrestler won three out of four matches with Jackson, Cleaver said, usually enough to win. Later, a writer asked Jackson’s wrestling opponent why he agreed to a fourth match.
“Jim would throw old Andy, but he would get right up,” Cleaver said, quoting the wrestler. “Because Andy just wouldn’t stay throwed.”
Cleaver said the first person who wouldn’t stay thrown was Jesus.
“They put him in a grave, and three days later, the world knew — he wouldn’t stay throwed!”
Cleaver’s voice rose.
“You’d better get ready for a woman who won’t stay throwed! They threw her down as the first lady, but she didn’t stay throwed! They threw her down as a U.S. senator, but she wouldn’t stay throwed!” he said.
The audience rose to its feet. “They threw her down in this entire campaign! But she wouldn’t stay throwed!”
It’s known as the Full Cleaver.
The speech fell a bit short of Cleaver’s legendary 2012 performance, when he marched and stomped on the podium and thousands joined him. But it was close.
It lasted less than five minutes.