October 17th, 2007
09:53 AM ET
4 years ago

All in the family: Cheney and Obama related

Obama is sworn into the Senate by his eighth cousin, Vice President Cheney.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Go back far enough, the saying goes, and everyone's related.

But could it be possible that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Vice President Dick Cheney share a common ancestor?

Cheney's wife Lynne says yes.

In an interview on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Cheney said that in the course of researching her husband's genealogy for her new book, "Blue Skies, No Fences," she discovered that the two public figures share an ancestor eight generations ago.

"Think about this," Mrs. Cheney said. "This is such an amazing American story that one ancestor, a man that came to Maryland, could be responsible down the family line for lives that have taken such different and varied paths as Dick's and Barack Obama's."

Mrs. Cheney's spokeswoman Ginny Justice gave CNN's Ed Henry more details, saying the two unlikely relatives are related through a French Huguenot named Mareen Duvall. Cheney and Obama are both descendants of her.

According to Justice, the vice president is related to her through "the first" Richard Cheney, who came to America in the 1650's. His granddaughter married Samuel Duvall, son of Mareen Duvall.

But is blood thicker than the partisan waters of Washington? Apparently not.

Even though Obama is related to her husband, Mrs. Cheney said she is not supporting the Illinois Democrat's White House bid.

Reacting to the news, Obama's campaign spokesman Bill Burton told CNN's Dana Bash with tongue in cheek, "Obviously, Dick Cheney is sort of the black sheep of the family."

But Obama's family ties to the Bush administration don't stop with Cheney. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times last September, Obama is also an 11th cousin of the president himself. The two share a 17th century Massachusetts relative.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Dick Cheney
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. familyforest

    Another barack Obama Cousins Story at:

    Please see yesterday's blog post at http://familyforest.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/another-barack-obama-cousins-story/

    The Family Forest® New World Edition can bring a great deal of expertise to this "important" news so that anyone can figure out what sort of cousins they are.

    October 21, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Renee Mareen Finley

    FYI. Mareen Duvall was male, not female. One reason why it is such an easy name to research. The name has been in each generation of the Duvall family line and continues to this day.

    October 22, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. David, Mississippi

    Most of you are complete IDIOTS, especially those of YOU who are showing your racist tendencies!!!!

    OBAMA 2008

    October 22, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Sheila Carter Bethesda, MD

    Just let it GO! Barack is a man of his own merrit, integrity, values and decision making ability. As my deceased Aunt Levonne always said, "You can't pick your relatives, and you have to love them inspite of yourself and themselves." Talk about treating my breathern as I would treat the Lord Himself.
    S. Carter

    October 22, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  5. Kimberlyn , ATL GA

    Silly people, Senator Barack Obama does not come from slavery. His father is African and his mother is Caucasian from Kansas. Please stop all this raped in slavery stuff. You sound nuts saying this.

    October 24, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Micky Hurlbutt

    wpww

    October 26, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. familyforest

    Please Don't Shoot the Messenger

    http://familyforest.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/

    but I saw this in "The Australian"

    Better get used to it, cuz: we're related

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22603319-26397,00.html

    October 27, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Sam, Cincinnati, OH

    Both Cheney and Obama are descended from, the couple, Samuel Duvall and Elizabeth Ijams Duvall. This means that Mr. Mareen Duvall(Samuel's father) and Richard Cheney(Elizabeth's grandfather) are both ancesters of both politicians.
    That Dick Cheney had African ancestry would be interesting, but unfortunately, this is not the case. (atleast back to the V.P./Senator's common ancester) That Sen. Obama has European ancestry(through his mother) is already given. All that this info shows is that they both have common European ancestry.
    By the way, Obama's Ancestry is not sullied simply because it is connected to a branch that would much later lead to Cheney.
    Too many comments on this thread seem to betray a severe misunderstanding of geneology.
    One last thing, why, as some have implied, would Mrs. Cheney lie about this? Why would she mean this as some sort of insult. How is it an insult to connect oneself with another through ancestry? This implies that Mrs. Cheney sees herself as unfortunate to be linked with. Such is nonsense.

    October 31, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. jenniearcheo, Annapolis, Maryland

    If you check out http://www.duvallsociety.org/, you'll see that Mareen Duvall had a very large number of descendants, two of whom happen to be Cheney and Obama (through his mother). Others include Robert Duvall the actor, Harry Truman, and Wallis Warfield Simpson (who became the Duchess of Windsor).

    November 1, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Kevin, Cleveland, OH

    The Wikipedia says that Mareen Duvall was a "man" not a woman. Just makes me wonder who's telling the story right.

    November 30, 2007 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  11. familyforest

    Maybe Politicians are Cut from the Same Cloth

    Just saw this NPR radio show they did:

    Sen. Barack Obama and Vice President Dick Cheney are distant cousins. President Bush and Sen. John Kerry have dozens of shared relatives.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=15401094&m=15401057

    December 30, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. familyforest

    Obamas Presidential Genes Truimph

    http://www.familyforest.com/inthenews.html

    January 6, 2008 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  13. enlightened one

    Ah, I love it. The illuminati seems to be working fine and well!

    January 14, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. CHRISTOPHER

    I SEE A LOT OF STUFF GOING ON THAT I FEEL IS VERY WRONG IN THIS CAMPAIN. MIXING RELIGION AND STATE . JUST LIKE THE MIDDLE EAST LOOK WHAT THAT DID THERE. WANTING TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION TO BE MORE GOD LIKE . WHAT GOD I ASK .THIS IS THE U.S.A THEIR ARE DIFFRENT RELIGIONS AND DIFFRENT GODS .SO I ASK AGAIN WHAT GOD. AND WHO'S GOD.

    January 18, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  15. Jay

    Communist Network News will do ANYTHING to defile someone. This is so low it's ridiculous! People don't even take this serious! It's yellow journalism at its finest. This type of reporting belongs in Star or World News Daily; tabloid fodder. I'm not even an Obama fan but this is just plain silly!
    Amerikan news reporting is lost to corporate interests. No one wants to even listen to the news anymore. Sounds a lot like the Ministry of Truth more than anything else.

    January 28, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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