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When Obama train comes to Florida, Graham won't be aboard

Campaigns love nothing more than to roll out a high-profile endorsement when a candidate comes to town. So for Barack Obama's much-ballyhooed trip to Florida next week, what could be better than a pat on the back from the elder statesman of Florida Democrats and fellow longtime opponent of the war of the Iraq, former Sen. Bob Graham?

No dice.

Graham said the campaign has been talking to him, but he's staying on the sidelines to avoid any appearance of favoritism when he speaks on Florida's behalf to the Democratic National Committee's rules committee.  Also slated to urge the national party to seat Florida's delegates: Jon Ausman, the DNC member who filed the appeal and is neutral in the race; former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez, a DNC member who backs Hillary Clinton; and former HIllsborough County Democratic Chairwoman Janee Murphy, a DNC member who has donated to Obama.

"I want to make my position as an honest broker,'' Graham said. "The most helpful thing I can do is to try to scrape off any antagonism in the Democratic party so we don't carry this into the general election.''

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