Correction: Must have been tired when I wrote this. Murphy was Dean’s Finance Chair, not Director. I knew that. But thanks to BL for flagging it.
Early news pieces took note of Phil Murphy’s time as a Goldman Sachs exec, and ambassador to Germany, skipping over the part of Murphy’s bio that always interested me more.
Phil Murphy was Howard Dean’s Finance Director at DNC, which makes him a key player in the span of Democratic activity that made most sense to me, and under which Democrats strengthened state parties, and took both houses of Congress and the White House. Phil Murphy was the guy that made sure Dean’s 50-State Strategy was well-financed.
I don’t agree with Howard Dean on everything, but he’s still making sense to me right now, post-Tuesday asking where the Hell was the Democratic Party? and talking about the Dems’ failure-to-commit, chickenshit (my term, not his) failure to stand for anything, as its own undoing.
Howard Dean and I are likely to be supporting different people for president in 2 years. But Howard Dean is still my guy, and I’m still DFA. And I backed DNC when the national Democrats were about something assertive, and strong on his watch. And Phil Murphy was his guy.
That among other reasons makes Murphy of interest to me for 2016, though we’re a long way away still. And I’m sorry I had to miss the public launch today of his soft-campaign vehicle, his non-profit New Start New Jersey, which he intends to use to address NJ’s lagging economy, one of Gov. Christie’s worst failures. Murphy declines to say is related to an NJGov 2017 campaign, but of course is.
In the audience, the beginning of what looks like strong coalition to me: Loretta Weinberg, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rush Holt, Joe Cryan, Gov. Byrne, his friendly sparring partner Gov. Kean, Barbara Buono, NAACP President Cornell Williams Brooks and Rutgers University policy professor Carl Van Horn among others.
Good company, if you’re thinking of running an NJGov campaign that just might be about something substantial. Something legitimately Democratic.