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. CNN Baghdad Iraq

    Sounds like a Situation Room story. Of utmost importance. Yes, for sure.

    October 17, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  2. Permalink, New Orleans LA

    Who Cares ?

    October 17, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  3. Mike, Oak Park IL

    Its Obama, not Barak. Why do you people keep using his first name and everyone elses last name? Give the man some respect. And it Barack, not barak.

    October 17, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  4. Goody Cleveland OH

    You must be stuck on #57. It figures such a boring story would do that.

    October 17, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  5. Robert Rochester, MN

    Wait a minute... Does this family tie mean Barack can't marry Mary Cheney?
    Oh, I'm so confused!

    October 17, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  6. MB, Orlando, FL

    Upon hearing this I am sure that Dick Cheney's has had more than a few sleepless nights. How ironic to say the least?

    October 17, 2007 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  7. Badar Memphis TN

    Are Putin and Gore related ?

    October 17, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  8. G, Central Jersey

    Well....condidering that Dick Cheney is white (DUHHH!!!)...I can only think of one way that this gentleman Dick can be related...Plantation owner...Slave owner.

    October 17, 2007 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  9. E. C., Houston, Texas

    What a crock! First thing I'll do is check the 'wonederful source' of this information...which is probably 'miss-information..... WHO knows if this is true? This information is so EASILY manipulated.......Better to 'check it out' before one releases this type of information to the media! I don't really BELIEVE any of it! The public should not either.

    October 17, 2007 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  10. Hurray Atlanta GA

    Are you sure you don't have 58 comments ? Or is this like WMD, where CNN just reports part of the story ?

    October 17, 2007 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  11. Buthy Birmingham AL

    How touching. Such a touching news report.

    October 17, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  12. CNN Tuscaloosa AL

    So is this the base for some new Comic or something ? Or has CNN just got lazy ?

    October 17, 2007 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  13. Nogo , Tehran Iran

    Good Point. Hillary has paid the Republicans to run this story ? Huh ?

    October 17, 2007 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  14. Marvin, Paris, France

    A French ancestor? Does it mean they could also be related to Sarkozy and Kouchner? The all have the same warmongering genetic disposition.

    October 17, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  15. Goodnight Washington DC

    I see you topped out at 57 people who considered this story of ultimate importance. Great Job CNN, Al should give his Nobel Prize to CNN !!!!!!

    October 17, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  16. RA,Cary,NC

    All in the Family? Cheney & Obama Related? Ha Ha Ha, Hee Hee Hee, Ho! Ho!! Ho!!! What a Joke!

    October 17, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  17. Rod, Charlotte NC

    How about some real news. This is lame.

    October 17, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. Matt K, Pittsfield, MA

    What a pile of crap article. Maybe you can next focus on the astrological signs of various political figures. Perhaps George Washington and George Bush both liked hamburgers? My 17th cousin thinks you should move to Ecuador.

    October 17, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Stephen Marks, Providence RI

    Poor Obama. At any rate it isn't his fault, and I hope that his sub-par family tree doesn't hold him back ;-)

    October 17, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  20. AA, ARIZONA

    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

    Posted By Brandy, Jax. FL ***************************************

    AND, IF YOU DO, YOU'RE JUST AS STUPID AS THE ONES WHO PUT THIS OUT JUST FOR YOU TO DO THAT...HOW STUPID CAN SOME PEOPLE BE?

    October 17, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  21. Betty in Houston, TX

    I am sure if they keep searching they will find a connection to the Clinton's. Everyone came from the line of Moses family. Remember the earth was flooded and they were the only family line + those who were married to them. Small world after all, small world after all. The Rednecks must be squirming about right now.

    October 17, 2007 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  22. AA

    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.

    Posted By Lisa Hampton, Newark, NJ ***************************************

    IT'S NOT WONDERFUL, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT. THEIR BEING RELATED COMES FROM THE FORCIBLE RAPE OF BLACK WOMAN, DURING SLAVERY. IF YOU THINK THAT'S "WONDERFUL"- I DON'T!! AND, IF YOU'RE SAYING, WELL THAT HAPPENED OVER 400 YEARS AGO...SO, WHAT! HOW SOON WE FORGET "OUR" HISTORY, AND THE SUFFERING BLACK WOMEN WENT THROUGH, DURING SLAVERY, AT THE HANDS OF WHITE MEN. WITH ALL THE NOOSE-HANGING GOING ON IN THIS COUNRTY, DURING THESE TIMES, WHY AND HOW DO YOU THINK THIS IS "WONDERFUL"?

    October 17, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  23. rik cruz, San Antonio Tx

    Ahhh yes, Nepotism at it's best. I guess the only way one can be president is to have family ties.
    =p

    October 17, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  24. AA

    I was going to vote for Obama.
    But if he is related to Dick Chaney I rather vote for someone else.

    Posted By Raulin Mechanicsville V**************************************

    HOW, STUPID CAN YOU BE...?

    October 17, 2007 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  25. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Some of the comments on here are just unreal...wow...

    October 17, 2007 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
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