If Murphy survives this year’s rematch against Fitzpatrick, which he fully expects to do, he will trace his triumph to what he did the day after his landslide two years ago. In an early morning’s pouring rain, he stood outside the Cornwells Heights train station shaking hands and thanking commuters for reelecting him. Murphy knew he would not have it easy the next time around, and he was right.
No one in politics, Murphy believes, should ever count on a victory being final, and Democrats who thought that Obama would usher in his party’s New Jerusalem were just plain wrong. “People were talking about a permanent majority – it was arrogant,” he says. “People want to know you’re fighting for them when they’re hurting.”