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A fun story about Eric Johnson, Patrick Murphy’s Yoda

in Top Headlines by

A good tattoo is made a great tattoo if it comes with a story.

And I’m not talking about the Chinese word for “honor” or the “God Bless ‘merica” kind of story. I’m talking about the homage-to-my-father or a remembrance-of-a-Yeats-poem kind of ode — the kind of tattoo that reveals an insight into the soul of the bearer.

Anyone who knows Patrick Murphy’s Chief of Staff Eric Johnson knows that he is far more than a trusted confidant or political adviser.  Eric has been the strategic counselor and to some degree a spiritual mentor to the rising star of Florida’s political elite.

Some – and by “some,” I mean those of us who both know Eric and are geeky sci-fi whackos – might even consider Eric to be to Patrick what Yoda was to young Luke.

I know this is eye-rollingly cliché and borderline trite. I get that.

But the analogy works when you consider that Luke always had potential – and it took the Jedi Grand Master, doubtful at first, persistent in the end – to help steer the young man to his higher destiny.  It was Yoda who counseled patience and stood by his side when things seemed bleakest.  When Murphy was going to get squished by Lois Frankel, Eric offered sage wisdom (like, get the hell out of the way of that freight train.) And it was Eric who helped navigate a seemingly impossible victory for his Democratic friend in a GOP-leaning seat during a landslide GOP year.

Still seems awfully cliché, doesn’t it?

And now as Patrick has seemingly cleared the field – Charlie out; DWS out; Alex Sink never in – of serious primary opposition, it seems, to at least this writer, that Murphy is now ready to assume his rightful place near the top of the ticket.

And there is one other thing that makes the analogy really work. Six years ago in Fort Lauderdale, Eric Johnson walked into a tattoo parlor to get himself inked.

Eric Johnson?  A tattoo?

Who knew?

It’s not the fact that a grown man would decide to have his arm permanently inked.  It’s that he chose an image that would reveal something of his inner self.  A great tattoo made better because it revealed a glimpse into the man.

Yes, for half a dozen years now, Eric Johnson has been sporting the Grand Master of the Jedi Order on his upper left arm.

The analogy is not so cliche now, is it?

great tattoo

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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