WASHINGTON (AP) – Two people who inspired Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign are going to attend his final State of the Union address.
The White House says they’re Edith Childs of South Carolina and Earl Smith of Austin, Texas.
Childs was a councilmember in Greenwood County when she and then-Illinois Sen. Obama met in June 2007. He credits her with coining the “Fired up! Ready to go!” call-and-response that became a rallying cry for his campaigns.
Smith, a Vietnam veteran, was head of security at an Austin hotel when he met Obama in February 2008.
They were in an elevator when Smith gave Obama a military patch he’d worn with an artillery brigade that suffered more than 10,000 casualties. Obama carried the patch with him for the rest of the campaign.