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'Super' just refers to work of delegate

In the eyes of her daughter, Janee Murphy's status as a Democratic National Party superdelegate means that mommy flies around with a cape and a golden lariat.

For Murphy, the state Democratic Party secretary and former chairwoman of the Hillsborough Democratic Executive Committee, the designation has much to do with being a delegate and little to do with being super.

Oh, it could be the reverse. With the Democrats' nomination still up in the air and Murphy uncommitted, she could easily encourage a dueling courtship between the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns. She concedes her telephone rings quite frequently, but says being a superdelegate has not gone to her head.

Murphy insists her focus is on representing the best interests of Florida. While she has donated $2,300 to the Obama campaign, she says that support comes from Janee Murphy, private citizen, not Janee Murphy, superdelegate. She argues its presumptuous to assume she would throw her support to Obama.

Her official stance is undecided, largely because the party has yet to settle the messy situation regarding Florida's delegates to the national convention.

After the state moved its presidential primary to Jan. 29, the DNC disqualified all of Florida's 366 delegates and discouraged candidates from campaigning here. Michigan received a similar penalty.

But now that the nomination remains in contention at this late stage, the party has to solve the "Florida-Michigan problem." Murphy says she won't commit without a solution that serves Florida's best interest.

"Yes, I'm concerned about national," Murphy said Thursday. "Yes, I want to see a Democrat in the White House, but I was elected by the Democrats of Florida, and that is where my heart is. I have to listen to them before I listen to anyone else."

When the DNC's rules committee hears an appeal of the Florida situation May 31, Murphy will be one of three Florida witnesses involved in the proceedings. She believes the DNC will restore some of Florida's delegates but is not certain about how many or how they will be split between Clinton and Obama.

"How can you talk about reaching that magical number of 2,025 (delegates) if you don't have Florida and Michigan in there?" Murphy asked. "In my opinion, there is no magical number, there is no mathematical equation to say either one of them should be the nominee if you do not recognize Florida and how crucial we are."

Murphy says even if the rules committee reinstates some of Florida's delegates, she still may wait to commit until she sees one or both of the campaigns launch an earnest effort to win Florida. She's not only concerned about representing the state, but representing the state's 1.1-million black voters.

"I want to secure Florida for our nominee. Now show me you want Florida," Murphy said.

Critics will say Murphy is leveraging both sides to boost her own status, but it's still impressive to see how far she has come since her contentious days leading the local party. I think she's learned a lot in her four years on the state level, and I would look for her to be in the game for a long time to come — even without a cape and lariat.

That's all I'm saying.

'Super' just refers to work of delegate 05/16/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2008 8:35pm]

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