Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rep. Patrick Murphy's Classy Gesture

Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, Democrat of Bucks County, slipped into the back of the U.S. Senate chamber Tuesday to pay his respects to Sen. Arlen Specter, who was making his farewell speech.

Rep. Patrick Murphy's Classy Gesture


By custom, members of the U.S. House must refer to the Senate as "the other body," and representatives don't enter the chamber across the Capitol, unless it's a special circumstance.

Rep. Patrick J. Murphy, Democrat from Bucks County, slipped almost unnoticed Tuesday into a seat behind a railing at the back of the Senate chamber, to witness the final speech of 30-year veteran Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat.

Murphy even got carded. A Senate employee demanded to know who he was, and the congressman could be seen pulling his House ID out of his wallet. (well, he is youthful looking).

In the Democratic primary earlier this year, Murphy declined to join all the other representatives in southeast Pennsylvania in endorsing Specter. He stayed neutral.

Murphy congratulated Specter and left as quietly as he came.

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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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