Patrick Murphy's mom and dad -- best kind of parents a candidate can have when the political chips are down -- are buying love by the thousands for their Senate seat-seeking son.
Let's say, that's the objective anyway.
Whatever their boy needs, out comes the checkbook. And what he needs now are endorsements from key candidates he can ride to victory in 2016 like a pilot fish on a whitetip shark.
Luckily for Patrick, according to the conservative organization American Crossroads, Thomas and Leslie Murphy of Miami -- in spite of long-time Republican Party membership -- are regular Hillary Clinton donors. Patrick’s father Thomas gave $4,000 to Clinton's 2006 Senate campaign, $2,300 to her 2007 presidential campaign, and just recently -- $2,700 to her 2016 presidential campaign. Patrick’s mother Leslie also gave $1,000 to Clinton's 2006 Senate campaign, $2,300 to her 2007 presidential campaign, and -- like her husband -- $2,700 to her 2016 presidential campaign.
Thomas is a construction company CEO and Donald Trump associate; Leslie is an attorney -- multimillionaires with money to invest in Patrick's future.
Said American Crossroads Communications Director Ian Prior, "... If there’s one pattern we’ve seen, it’s that endorsements of young Patrick usually aren’t far behind his parents' campaign checks."
Prior said of Clinton on Friday, day of the Democratic presidential frontrunner's visit to South Florida: "If she lets her visit to Palm Beach go by without endorsing Patrick Murphy, whose parents are major donors to her campaigns, it would signal a serious lack of confidence in his chances to defeat Alan Grayson.”
Or, mght it signal something else? Like, for instance, hard feelings over Murphy's Benghazi "defection"?
I mention this now because it looks as if Clinton shocked a ton of local Dems Friday when she snubbed Murphy every step of the way during her South Florida visit.
Certainly Murphy's main rival, fellow congressman Alan Grayson, noticed.
Progressive 'Down With Tyranny' blogger Howie Klein wrote this Saturday: "... All the Benghazi committee ever was meant to be: a platform for slandering Hillary Clinton. ... I was on a media call with Alan Grayson and half a dozen Florida journalists Friday morning when he warned that (Patrick) Murphy's record of siding with Republicans, and in particular his vote to support the now thoroughly discredited Benghazi committee, could hurt the eventual Democratic presidential nominee in Florida."
Grayson explained himself on the call, according to Klein. "... Murphy voted to allow Republicans to use the power of Congress to harass and smear Hillary Clinton," Grayson said. "... Murphy’s vote to support this witch hunt tells you all you need to know about him. He’s a Republican who voted like it when he thought no one was watching, and the consequences of his support for the Republican agenda will come back to haunt the Democratic Party and our presidential candidate."
By all accounts, Murphy was the forgotten man Friday. At a campaign stop in a half-empty gym at Broward College in Davie, Murphy and Congressman Ted Deutch were on a balcony overlooking the stage when Clinton thanked "Ted Deutch and all the other elected officials here." Said Klein "Murphy winced and looked like he had just been punched in the stomach."
Earlier Clinton had been raising money at the home of Fred Cunningham in North Palm Beach -- yes, that's in the heart of Murphy's congressional district. Murphy was barred from entering "so as not to embarrass Hillary by forcing his mug into a photograph." All day long, at the home of lawyers Mitchell and Sharon Berger in Fort Lauderdale and F.J. and Abigail Pollak in Miami Beach, "Murphy followed her around like a dog hoping for a bone and endorsement."
The Senate candidate wasn't permitted to enter any of the homes and, no, not even once did she mention Murphy's name.
Among the Florida Democrats Klein cites who were happy to take money from Mama and Papa Murphy, and who endorsed Patrick in the primary:
- Alex Sink, who accepted a $10,000 check from Murphy's father;
- Ted Deutch, to whom Thomas Murphy gave $4,800 in 2011 and $5,400 this year, and his mother the same, for a grand total of $20,400;
- Alcee Hastings, who this year took $10,800 from the senior Murphys, two lots of $2,700 from each;
- Frederica Wilson, who by coincidence got $10,800 from the Murphys this year-- $5,400 from Thomas and $5,400 from Leslie.
All of these figures for members of Congress are a matter of record with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
"Murphy's endorsements from black officeholders are particularly important," said Harold R. Kruse, a retired broker and political observer in Miami Gardens. "He has nothing to say to the black community, nothing to offer them. Getting Hastings and Wilson, if he's got her nailed down as well as Alcee, is a real coup."
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith