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. Wm, West Chicago, IL

    This is ridiculous. If these are the kind of cheap tricks people are going to use to scare us out of voting for Obama then think again. Do we really want to continue the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton drama that has made this country a laughing stock? We are bigger than this. We are ready for change. Come on CNN, give us some articles that don't pick sides. It's not funny, it's pathetic.

    October 17, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. Oore Areyou Orlando, FL

    Don't you have any good news to report ?

    October 17, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  3. Sure Thing, Boston MA

    You should really do a national Poll tomorrow, to see who actually cares ? Would you consider this more important than supporting our troops, and reporting on a few good things America has done lately? Or would that be beneath your dignity ?

    October 17, 2007 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. mike glenmont ohio

    I heard obama got a blood transfusion when he heard he might have cheneys tainted blood running through him

    October 17, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  5. Howie Short, Baghdad, Iraq

    Is this really the best you can do ?

    October 17, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  6. CNN Atlanta GA

    You are up to 49 now. 49 people out of 500 billion, that actually think this is reall news. Good rating their CNN, it should speak for itself.

    October 17, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  7. CNN Atlanta, GA

    You missed #50, it was the best one yet.

    October 17, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  8. CNN Atlanta GA

    Sorry, American Folks, this is the only news we have. Sorry Iraqi troops. this is all the news we have.

    October 17, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  9. PrintThat Boston MA

    Can you provide the American public and the Iraqi people with some proof that this is true ? Or is it a WMD relation.

    October 17, 2007 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  10. George, Olso Norwary

    Why aren't you displaying the best comments ? Are you a WMD news source, or do you like to source the real news ?

    October 17, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  11. Bono, Oslo, Norwary

    Common CNN, step it up, face up. Is this story true, can you prove it, or is it similar to WMD ?

    October 17, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  12. Bono, Atlanta GA

    Yea, lets have 87 strait days of Wolfe Blitzer, doing a continuous story on the fact that Barack and Cheney are related. Do you think you can make the story last through the election.

    October 17, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  13. Bodo Boston MA

    Don't you think Georgie feels left out ? And Hillary ? My, My, My who are they related to ? Please don't short the American Public and the Iraqi People, the rest of the news. Who is Pelosi related to ? Who is Edward related to ? Who is Ringo Starr related to ? Who is Kevin Garnett related to ?

    October 17, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  14. CNN Atlanta GA

    You do a good job of brushing off and trashing good comments. Just like the WMD. Great job CNN. Hurray

    October 17, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  15. Sarah Gastonia NC

    Well you know it doesn't really matter about relatives ya know? In my own case I am the good sheep of it all. Barack seems to be the good sheep of this clan. =)

    October 17, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  16. George, Dallas TX

    The good news is that neither one of them will ever be President of the USA.

    October 17, 2007 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  17. George Dallas TX

    Please take a Time Out from reporting this outstanding news story of great importance. And wish Hillary the best of luck in the upcoming Election. And remember the Iraqi people and American troops. If you consider that important and newsworthy.

    October 17, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  18. George Dallas TX

    Is the chief operation officer of CNN related to the Chief operation officer of FOX ?

    October 17, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  19. CNN Atlanta, GA

    Well, you are up to 57 people out of 800 billion now, that think this was a noteworthy story. Good job CNN, I would be proud.

    October 17, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  20. George Dallas TX

    I really don't think they are. Dick wears glasses, Obama does not. Shouldn't that settle it ?

    October 17, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  21. CNN Atlanta GA

    And the Yankees won the 2007 World Series. And we found WMD in Iraq. And Barack and Dick are related. Which of the above are true stories ?

    October 17, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  22. George Dallas TX

    What is the average oil output of Iraq perday. In gallons ?

    October 17, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  23. Hallo Boston MA

    And Halloween is on October 31. Another great story for CNN.

    October 17, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  24. Yoso Boston MA

    Does CNN give itself Trophies for Great Stories. Just wondering is all.

    October 17, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  25. Mond NewYork NY

    This is really important. More important than reporting on some Soldiers in Iraq that may be related ?

    October 17, 2007 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
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