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. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The first comment by demwit is hilarious. Let's just leave it with that!

    October 16, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. lowerpericles

    The Obama Code.

    October 16, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Percy H Florez, Ahsburn, VA

    If you take time and try to find out anything like that on ancestry.com, you could not find anything.

    This is and advertising to sell her lousy book.

    October 16, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. THOMAS BILLIS

    I did some research and it turns out that the common relative in Mass. Bonzo Bush was the town idiot.He would be so proud to see one of his descendents being the countrys idiot.

    October 16, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. uriew, CA

    All you Hillary lovers, have fun in your Obama bashing party. Laurinda from NY, I would think you have enough brains to realize that this isa an attempt by Hillary panderers to do anything to portray Obama as second class. Watch the money come in at barackobama.com, the media is going to lose the battle, and the people will elect Obama

    October 16, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  6. Traci, West Palm Beach, FL

    What a bummer.... Obama must have been devastated to hear that horrible news. I am devastated for him.

    October 16, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. Brandy, Jax. FL

    This is just hysterical to me. Let's just say I have had my doubts about Senator Obama for some time but know that I know how his family members are and how they have behaved in positions of power I will be voting for someone else. HA HA

    October 16, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Cheyenne Mike.

    Obama walks upright and acts intelligent, yet Cheney's knuckles still drag on the ground – go figure..........

    October 16, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  9. Aaron, Saint Paul MN

    "Obviously, Dick Cheney is sort of the black sheep of the family."

    Classic. Brilliant.

    October 16, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. ABB Fremont, Ca

    I had no plans to do so in the first place, but this is all the more reason not to vote for Obama.

    October 16, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. matt

    Is this a joke? Maybe Uncle Cheney can be a campaign adviser for poor, unexperienced Barack.

    http://www.political-buzz.com/

    October 16, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. J. Williams

    ...yeah, this is pretty much the random, juvenile-caliber comments I'd expect from a "news story" like this.

    (Don't worry, everyone. I blame CNN.)

    October 16, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. EOW

    They are just preparing for 2012. End of world!!! Repent now.

    October 16, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. 2012 444

    Is this mean Bush and Cheney are related; as Devil and Vampire? Both do have evil smile. 2012 444

    October 16, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. Christian, Tampa FL

    Good golly gosh.

    They're not that closely related, though, so that's good. I have a friend who's more closely related to the Senator because they're both descended from Jefferson Davis.

    You see, Obama is basically America incarnate. What more reason do we need to elect him President?

    October 16, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. Lisa Hampton, Newark, NJ

    I think this news is wonderful! In America, despite all of our racial, ethnic and religious difference, this proves how much of a family we really are.

    October 16, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. AJ - Florida

    Every time I would look at Obama I would wonder who he looked like and know I can totally see it. Oh my God he looks so much like Cheney!

    October 16, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. timbuck, houston, texas

    cheney's wife should not continue to insult decent, honorable men like Obama.

    October 16, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. Ruth

    Rudy is looking better every day.

    October 16, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. El Monte

    Brother from another mother

    October 16, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  21. Dana Garrett

    Given Cheney's transparent deficiencies, Obama in contrast makes it clear that intelligence and ability are mostly the result of nurture and not nature.

    October 16, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. DaveM, Lebanon, OR

    I suspected this. I'm a sixth cousin to Obama and I saw something scary further up the line in researching my own lines. Simply devastating news.

    October 16, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. Gracia Akin,Sierra Vista, AZ

    My heartflet sympathies for Obama

    October 16, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Jevin St. Marys, GA.

    "For all of you who incorrectly insist that Obama is a Muslim, would this link make Cheney a Muslim, too?
    Posted By Ryan, New York, NY : October 16, 2007 5:10 pm "

    Brilliant statement. They are separated by 8 generations of families. By your rational, Cheney is black, too.

    October 16, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Scott from Freehold

    Uch! To have Bush and Cheney blood in me, would make me want to shower!

    October 16, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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