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Donoghue crosses party lines - to greet his brother, a longtime McCain aide

April 03, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

ANNAPOLIS -- While Republicans crammed inside an Annapolis restaurant, anticipating U.S. Sen. John McCain, their party's presumptive presidential nominee, a lone Democrat hovered outside, around back.

It was Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, drawn to the event through family ties rather than through political allegiance.

He and Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, stood with each other - near a media horde - behind Chick & Ruth's Delly, a few blocks from the State House.

McCain was making a quick stop on his way to a campaign speech at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Accompanying McCain was his senior legislative assistant, Joe Donoghue, John's younger brother.

Joe Donoghue made sure the Arizona senator stopped to say hello to John Donoghue and Munson.

Then, McCain made his way inside, where he helped lead a tightly packed crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, a daily Chick & Ruth's tradition. Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, was part of the crowd.

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Joe Donoghue, the ninth of 13 Donoghue siblings, smiled when asked about the partisan philosophical divide between his brother and he.

"Blood's thicker than political party," he said. "Someday, John'll see the light."

John Donoghue, the second-oldest of the siblings, said the philosophical differences in his family made for interesting dinner discussions.

He said he got his start in Democratic politics by working for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Sargent Shriver.

But that doesn't mean he can't get along with a Republican.

"I love my brother, and John McCain is a good friend," John Donoghue said.

"We're all very respectful of each other's views ...," Patricia Moulton, the eighth-oldest among the brothers and sisters, said by phone. "I'm very proud of both my brothers."

The political record, though, shows her leaning toward Joe over John.

In the last election, Moulton was chosen as an alternate delegate for McCain.

John Donoghue was picked as a delegate for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is competing with U.S. Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Munson, who also spoke briefly to McCain, said he watched Joe Donoghue grow up. Joe Donoghue and Munson's daughter, Xanthy, graduated from St. Maria Goretti High School together.

After shaking hands with McCain, John Donoghue called out, "Take care of my brother Joe."

"I will," McCain replied. "Great young man."

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