Diary

Breaking: Hillary Clinton's brother backing John McCain?

Local Clinton backers, McCain adviser meet

A brother of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and local Democrats who backed her unsuccessful presidential campaign socialized privately Monday with a top surrogate of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.) The private gathering featured Carly Fiorina, Mr. McCain’s top economic adviser, and took place at the Dunmore home of political consultant Jamie Brazil, a longtime friend of Mrs. Clinton’s family who has signed on as paid national director of Mr. McCain’s Citizens for McCain Coalition.

The attendees included Tony Rodham, Mrs. Clinton’s youngest sibling, his wife, Megan, and their two children; attorney Kathleen Granahan Kane, who coordinated Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign in Northeast Pennsylvania during the primary election; and Virginia McGregor, sister of Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty. With the Democratic National Convention less than a week away, the gathering raises questions about the support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama can expect from former local supporters of Mrs. Clinton, who dominated at the polls in the Northeast in the April primary election. Mrs. Clinton won 74 percent of Lackawanna County Democrats to Mr. Obama’s 26 percent.

Ms. Fiorina’s daylong local visit, part of a two-day bus tour of the state, was aimed at talking disenchanted former supporters of Mrs. Clinton into supporting Mr. McCain. The private gathering was not a fundraiser.

“I think there’s going to be a groundswell of support for McCain,” said Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola, a Republican and one of the people who attended. “I think a lot of Hillary supporters are going to be for McCain.”