October 17th, 2007
09:53 AM ET
5 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. demwit

    I can even see the resemblance now that you mention it..

    October 16, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Dan Dean Orlando. FL

    There don't seem to be many similarities... The black/white thing is perhaps the most minor of these factors... Barack is a humanitarian, Cheney is a misanthrope. Barack is a populist, and Cheney is a fascist. Barack would rather make love, not war!

    October 16, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Ryan, New York, NY

    For all of you who incorrectly insist that Obama is a Muslim, would this link make Cheney a Muslim, too?

    October 16, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. uriew, CA

    Great CNN. You have perfected the ART of negative comments against Obama. You should win an award for that. Perfected the art of drugging Obama in the mud until nobody likes him anymore, but guess what the public will vote not the media.

    October 16, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. laurinda,ny

    Well if Obama ever got in (which he won't) that would mean that he would give his relative Cheney a job at the white house. We would never get than man out. That's probably why Cheney is smiling.

    October 16, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. joseph, austin, tx

    I wonder will this revalation hurt obama in the eyes of the libs, hes related to satan himself, i knew obama was a demon.

    October 16, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. TJ WILLIAMS

    Politics...strange bloodfellows...

    October 16, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Jim Bremer

    What a wonderful family tree – one limb created Barak Hussein and other limb created Cheney who tortures people of Barak Hussein's religion ;-)

    October 16, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Jim Bremer

    This proves it – I always knew Barak Hussein was in cahoots with the Bushes and the Cheneys!

    More reason to vote HILLARY !

    October 16, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. David, Dallas Tx

    That's it. No way I'm voting for Barak now. ;)

    October 16, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. james,boston,ma

    stop fooling us!

    October 16, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. George Chicago

    Yea, Bush has more class in his pinky than Obama has in all of his family tree.

    October 16, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Joan Nicholson

    I'd like to hear more about this Massachusetts relative and how they were related back in the 17th century.

    October 16, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Don, Atlanta GA

    That's okay – Brack comes from the side of the family tree with brains and a better aim!

    October 16, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. naomi,nyc,ny

    really? Whatever she want us to think!

    October 16, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. Gary, Houston, TX

    One is black, the other's heart is.

    October 16, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Ryan, Los Angeles CA

    Who cares?

    October 16, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Ah HAA! So he's a Muslim AND a Republican. Obviously this man can't be trusted.

    October 16, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. VIDAL

    I think this is something that we've let fade from the thought of HUMAN EXISTANCE... WE ARE ALL RELATED!

    SISTERS AND BROTHERS...

    NOW TELL YOUR CREATOR YOU DISAGREE!

    October 16, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Mrs. America

    I won't hold it against you, Obama.

    October 16, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Steve Douglas,. MA

    Big deal, we re all related. The best estimate has the most distant shared relative between you and anyone else on this planet is thirty generations. I wish we could get that through our thick skulls.
    Pax, Steve

    October 16, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. julian

    "Bush has more class in his pinky than Obama has in all of his family tree."

    Posted By George Chicago : October 16, 2007 5:40 pm

    bush? class? unless you're talking about his failing grades in college, there's really no reason those two words should be in the same sentence. unless, of course, you place a "has no" in between them.

    October 16, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. rdc clearlake, ca

    can't get much whiter than that

    October 16, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. mommadona, Ben Lomond, CA

    Only Lynne would put the energy in this little "gotcha".......

    Bet she looked it up on the Mormon database.

    October 16, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. s1mplex

    Um, just to make sure everyone is clear on this, it is an undeniable fact that each living human being does share a common ancestor with every other living human being; indeed, with every other living organism on this planet.

    That being said... Barack and Dick do have unnervingly similar ears.

    October 16, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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