Howard Dean’s guy

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.

Comments (28)

  1. keepitreal

    The NJ Democratic Party is desperately in need of change. Murphy just may be the best person to bring about those changes. The public will need to hear more about him, but fortunately he has the resources to make that happen.  

  2. firstamend07

    I have one question. Where was Murphy with all his millions when the people of NJ were suffering after Sandy?

    How insulting is it that this guy needs to start a non-profit group to ” study” the middle class. What are we, specimens in a jar? This rich guy is so out of touch that he needs people around him to tell him about the ” middles class” .

    His money will buy some friends but the people of NJ are not stupid.  They do NOT want to be studied,they want to be respected.

    Even Corzine did not insult the working people of this state by starting some phony middle class study group.

    Murphy is completely  out of touch with real Jersey people.    

  3. firstamend07

    A plan, not a microscope,now that is what NJ residents expect.

    While mr. ambassador was dissecting the species known as the ” middle class” the State Senate President was initiating a plan to help Atlantic City.

    This IS clearly the difference between wall street and main street.

    Does Murphy even know that there is such a thing as the Jersey shore?  

  4. Erik Preuss

    “Chickenshit” is exactly right. I said this the other day, but dems shouldn’t really be shocked they got whooped last tuesday. Voters were presented with GOP challengers presenting a vision versus Dems really saying nothing other than “TRUST ME I DON’T LOVE OBAMA” and “I’m not as bad as him!” And as crazy as the GOP ideas may be, they at least presented (and attacked) things of substance, and it’s not hard to see why independents ran as fast as they could  from our party. The confounding thing is we just had a national election where Dems ran on their platforms and won in a political climate not all too much different than this one.

    Frankly the party in general is in a really sad state and it honestly makes me depressed. It has become the party of completely spineless elected officials who won’t stand behind their president or even the legislation that they voted to put into law. And i hate to say it, but as long as this continues, we deserve to keep losing.

  5. Jersey Jazzman

    Sweeney: In with Norcross, one of the biggest school privatizers in the state.

    Fulop: Was tight with Chris Cerf, took B4K money, but may be turning the corner.

    Murphy: Howard Dean’s guy — and Dean is one of the biggest charter school cheerleaders in the Democratic Party.

    Could we maybe have a potential candidate who is unambiguously for public education and pro-teacher?

    I know this is a terribly limited perspective on my part, but still…


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