Senator Kerry with “Fighting Dem” Patrick Murphy in Newtown, PA

Last Thursday I took the morning off from work to attend Senator Kerry’s rally with PA-08 Democratic Congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Patrick Murphy, along with a few hundred other lucky and very excited people. It was a cold windy morning outside on the Student Center Terrace of Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA but it sure didn’t cool off the crowd’s spirits!

The “Rally for Change” started about an hour late waiting for the Senator to arrive. Originally I’d thought that they were probably delayed in the same traffic I was when taking the Newtown exit off 95 South. It took me about 45 minutes to make it 2 miles through road construction. (Later during the speeches I saw Marvin and stopped over to say hello and he said that actually the traffic in Pittsburgh is what did them in).

As soon as Patrick returned from Iraq and left active duty he focused his energy volunteering for JK’s 2004 presidential campaign. That’s how I first met Patrick and was very impressed by this sincere, patriotic and intelligent young man, who was very concerned with the direction those in power had taken our country, both internationally and domestically.

After being introduced Patrick said to Senator Kerry, ”I was proud to defend you then and I’m proud that you’re here to defend me today.”

Patrick noted that he was an alumnus of Bucks County Community College, which got a big cheer from all the students in attendance.

Patrick had been serving as a constitutional law professor at West Point teaching our future military leaders when on 9/12/01 he said he requested to be transferred to a combat unit. Patrick’s first deployment in 2002 was to Bosnia. Where as Patrick pointed out, we didn’t suffer one combat death. He said why was that? Because President Clinton listened to HIS military experts!

His second deployment was to Baghdad, Iraq in 2003-2004 as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Patrick spoke about being in convoys in the lead Humvee that not only didn’t have armor, it didn’t even have any doors!

At one point Patrick reminded the crowd that he swore an oath that “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Which as I mentioned in my comment on the John Kerry blog, I could tell were certainly not mere words to him when I first heard him speak in October 2004.

JK noted that the attacks on Patrick are the closest that Mike Fitzpatrick has ever come to combat and said that he’s sick of all these Republicans who ‘think they’ve served because they played with G.I. dolls. He said GOP attacks on Patrick’s military and legal credentials are like Jessica Simpson attacking Albert Einstein’s IQ.

JK said of the GOP Congress, we need to sweep out the lies, sweep out the corruption and we need to sweep that house clean. He also noted that the out of control Republican Congress has squandered billions in a surplus left by President Clinton into trillions in deficit in the Bush administration. “Spent on bullshit” somebody in crowd shouted out. JK responded that he couldn’t have said it better himself. Both statements got rousing cheers from the crowd.

At one point somebody yelled out to JK “2008” and a big cheer erupted from the crowd again! 🙂

After JK was finished speaking he asked the veterans in attendance to raise their hands. A lot of hands shot up in the crowd. JK then said, “we’re coming down to chat” and both the Senator and Patrick plunged into the crowd to chat and sign autographs for quite a while.

Below are a couple of old pictures I took of Patrick during John Kerry’s 2004 campaign.

The first one is from the first time I met Patrick, a few weeks after he returned from Iraq when he spoke at our “Unity Concert” fundraiser that I’d helped some great folks in Bucks County put on in Newtown, PA on 10/1/04 .

The next one was taken at a wreath laying ceremony and NJ/PA Veteran’s for Kerry rally on 10/17/04.

Oh by the way, the veteran on the right in the picture above was from the Purple Heart Society. To put it mildly, let’s just say he was NOT pleased AT ALL about the Bush supporters wearing purple heart band-aids at the 2004 RNC Convention.

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11 Responses to Senator Kerry with “Fighting Dem” Patrick Murphy in Newtown, PA

  1. Ginny Cotts says:


    What a great post. Especially the cheer for “JK in 2008”. 😆

  2. Marjorie G says:

    Dave, good to hear from you. Wonderful post.

    I, too, spoke with Patrick after he introduced Kerry at the Take Back America Conference, and was very impressed.

    I’m concerned about NJ’s Menendez, and all those trash ads we get in Brooklyn.

    I last saw a gauzy, sunlit walk on the beach ad with Sr and Jr Kean, then closing comments from his cute, blonde kids.

    Hope Menedez has something upbeat planned as relief.

  3. Dave from Princeton

    Great post! Thanks so much for this and the old photos.

  4. greenbean says:

    Veterans are where they are today is quite an achievement all by itself. I remember a few months ago, veterans running for office banded together with Max Cleveland for photo-ops, but only recieved cold and minimum coverage from the media. Months later today they are kicking G.O.P. asses. There will be wins and loses but all and all, the movement of determination is very inspirational.

  5. fedup says:

    Great report Dave. The pics are great. The folks in Pennsylvania will be well served with Patrick in the congress.

    I can see why him and JK get along so well they are both terrific, caring and honest men.

    P.S. Marjorie G., I think the veteran who introduced JK at the TBA was John Powers, another terrific individual.

    I hope the NYT’s endorsement of Menendez gives him an extra boost.

  6. mbk says:

    front page article in today’s Boston Globe is partially about this rally

    As DavefromPrinceton, Kerry, all the above comments, and Murphy himself all make clear, Patrick Murphy is an exceptional canddate who is well worth our support. Murphy has a real chance, but it’s going to be a squeaker. Any support –moral, financial, on-the-ground campaigning– will make a difference.
    Here is his website:

  7. Marjorie G says:

    Fedup, thanks for the correction. Looked the same, and senility obviously isn’t helping name ID. I ejoyed speaking with that fellow.

    With most names anonymous, have we met?

  8. beachmom says:

    Thanks for the post, Dave!

  9. fedup says:

    Marjorie G.

    They are both fine young men, and both give this country hope. They both remind me of a young John Kerry.

    Well I use to be CarolforKerry on the Kerry blog ( now fedup on the new JK blog), and I’m fedupinBushcountry over at DU and recently at Dkos. On other blogs I’m either of the two.

  10. Karen Krause says:

    It truly amazes me that anyone still honestly thinks that this incompetent senator would ever have a chance becoming President of the United States. He is President only in his own little world of JFK…he is a traitor of the worst kind and anyone who supports this pathetic clown seriously needs a reality check. We live in a dangerous world and the Kerryites just don’t get it.

  11. Karen Krause

    It is because we live in a dangerous world that we get that America needs Kerry, and not the fearmongering BushCo crowd. Thanks for sharing. Kerry is a hero, any talk otherwise is BS.