Christmas in the Woodhouse home can be a combustible affair.
On the far left end of the sofa you have Brad Woodhouse, who as communications director for the Democratic National Committee is one of the country's leading voices backing Democrats and attacking Republicans. On the far right you have his brother, Dallas, who as director of the N.C. chapter of Americans for Prosperity is dedicating his career to fighting "Obamacare," "union thugs" and other Democratic darlings.
Brad, like his brother a Raleigh native, is reportedly on the short list to be President Barack Obama's next press secretary, replacing N.C. State grad Robert Gibbs.
"Brad is a full-scale partisan hack," Dallas told me.
"My brother is a right-wing nut job," Brad told Newsweek.
Christmas Eve was like watching Heat Miser and Snow Miser all over again. The brothers' debates wear on their mother, Joyce.
"She said, 'We don't need to have no talking of politics tonight on Christmas Eve,'" Dallas said. "And I'm like 'Why in the hell not? What am I going to talk about, the weather? That's what we do!' On Christmas Eve we got scrapping on Obamacare and Brad got all mad. ... I just kept needling him."
The duo have fought publicly over health care, unions, Sarah Palin and other topics.
Joyce, who was Gov. Terry Sanford's personal secretary in the 1960s, isn't sure what happened with her sons. "I don't know why they're different. They were rocked in the same rocker."
Politics was part of the regular dinner conversation for Brad and Dallas growing up. Their parents' wedding reception was held in the governor's mansion. Brad loved politics from an early age, and watched Walter Cronkite on the evening news when he was 5, his mother says.
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