A house divided: Married political analysts are from opposing political parties
It’s no secret that things are a bit tense political in the United States ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Families with opposing political ideologies are finding themselves at odds with one another.
But a New Jersey couple who work on opposite sides of the political spectrum has been able to set aside those differences when they are together at home.
“’Did you hear what Donald Trump said?’ If I had a dollar for every time Joshua said that I could probably fund a good portion of the stimulus,” jokes Jeanette Hoffman.
Hoffman is a Republican public affairs consultant. Her husband, Joshua Henne, is a Democratic strategist. They are New Jersey’s version of George and Kellyanne Conway or in an earlier era, Mary Matlin and James Carville.
They each have campaign signs on their front lawn showing support for their respective candidates.
“To the left of the house, appropriately, is Joshua. And I get the right of the house,” says Hoffman. “I have the Republican candidates.”
Twenty years ago, long before they met, Hoffman and Henne worked on competing United States Senate campaigns. Hoffman worked for Bob Franks and Henne for Jon Corzine. They met when a reporter asked Henne if he could recommend any moderate New Jersey Republican to comment for a story.
“Like, what is this snarky Democrat… reaching out to me. Is this some kind of setup?” Hoffman says.
Six years, a wedding and two children later, the couple says that their relationship is a triumph of domestic bipartisanship.
They say that Henne is further left than Hoffman is right.
“I’m a moderate Republican,” she says. “[My husband] is left of Gov. [Phil] Murphy, I think, right? And that’s pretty far left.”
What the couple has seemed to have mastered is what many people are struggling with right now – how to keep their political disagreements from bleeding over into the rest of their lives.
“We have a lot of the core values, so it may be different political philosophies, but we both want the same things,” Henne says. “We share a lot of the same interests, we have the same idea about what family means. We have the same agreement about how to raise our kids. We have the same interest in people.”
They say that a sense of humor is key for keeping the peace at home.
“I have a lot more trouble that she’s trying to make our kids Yankees fans over Mets fans,” Henne says.
“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re really missing out,” Hoffman says.
It is a politically-mixed marriage that could be a lesson for everyone else.