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House divided: Politics in play at Raleigh family's Christmas

Posted December 25, 2012

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— It might be bad manners to talk politics over Christmas dinner, but for the Woodhouse family in Raleigh, it simply can't be helped.

Dallas Woodhouse is the state director for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. His older brother, Brad Woodhouse, is the communications director for the Democratic National Committee.

Their mother, Joyce Woodhouse, just wants a peaceful family Christmas.

"I ask them not to talk about politics," she says. "They don't pay me any attention."

Over the years, Joyce Woodhouse has watched her older son move further to the left and her younger son go just as far in the other direction. It wasn't always that way. Dallas Woodhouse lived with his brother for a while after graduating from college.

"If I had known then what I know now, I would have evicted you," Brad Woodhouse jokes. "I would have kicked your butt right out of my house. I was subsidizing you."

"You were not subsidizing me," Dallas Woodhouse fires back.

"You don't believe in subsidies."

Though the differences run deep, the brothers say they still enjoy getting together.

"I do look forward to getting together with him and doing things with our children and doing things to enjoy being together," Dallas Woodhouse says.

Politics in play at Woodhouse family Christmas Politics in play at Woodhouse family Christmas

Still, he keeps a few zingers up his sleeve. This year, Dallas Woodhouse gave his brother an ornament of the North Carolina Legislative Building, where Republicans have the majority. Brad Woodhouse says he plans to return the favor with a White House ornament.

"I don't know what makes them like they are," Joyce Woodhouse says. "I rocked them in the same rocker."

Brad Woodhouse is quick with an explanation: "I think you dropped Dallas on his head."

The barbs are mostly in good fun, the brothers say. They go on annual ski trips and visit several times a year. After all, they're family.

"You try to make it not personal until you can't help it and it becomes personal," Dallas Woodhouse explains. "But then you get over it pretty quick."

"Well, you have to," his brother chimes in. "It's a philosophical rivalry. I don't think he could be more wrong, and I don't think I could be more right. He thinks the same."

Some debates, such as healthcare, have been harder to weather than others, Brad Woodhouse says, but in the end, their bond is strong.

"We're brothers. I love him."

9 Comments

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  • Wake1 Dec 27, 11:17 a.m.

    Who are these two???

  • mayhem Dec 27, 9:17 a.m.

    These two have a great racket going. Play like they're idealogues and keep the cash rolling in from the zealots on both sides. Pretty brilliant!

  • blahblahblah Dec 26, 4:16 p.m.

    I'm wondering how WRAL found this story? Did the family call them up and say hey we have a difference of opinion, write a story about us? Who cares?

  • h3ardita11b4 Dec 26, 2:42 p.m.

    Why in the world is this news????

  • Bartmeister Dec 26, 2:12 p.m.

    ha, you wanna see a family divided? Watch a family that has ties to both Alabama and Auburn, or God forbid Red Sox and Yankees.

  • larieke Dec 26, 1:18 p.m.

    It's disappointing Brad ended up like this. He didn't seem like someone who would grow up to have no empathy for hard working people and think others' needs were just ambition and opportunity...

  • jackflash123 Dec 26, 10:22 a.m.

    It's disappointing Dallas ended up like this. He didn't seem like someone who would grow up to have no empathy for others and think others' needs were entitlements back when we were acting on WRAL's "Sparks" in high school.

  • Conservative Dec 26, 10:16 a.m.

    Happens - it is nothing new. In such situations discussing politics can become rather dicey (understatement!).

  • WASP Dec 26, 9:50 a.m.

    WRAL must be hurting for news with this story?