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. JDC, Birmingham, AL

    How Funny! I can't stop ginning, actually... laughing. What a small world.

    October 17, 2007 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  2. Saxon de Kock Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa

    Obama and Cheyney related – I think that's terrific! Of course, in the end – we are all related to one another so how about we all work towards world peace! Its not nice when brothers and sisters fight!

    October 17, 2007 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  3. T.C. Napa, CA

    And how WOULD both the Bush Family and Cheney family have a distant relative of African-American descent?

    Let's think about this one. Barack's dad is from Africa (Kenya). This all happened in 17th Century America. Hm. I'll let you do the math, but I like how they called them "distant relatives." I'm sure in the 17th Century, that's not what they called them. :(

    October 17, 2007 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  4. USNA Ancient Mariner, Annapolis, MD

    Re: "Yea, 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 has class ??????????????????? there obviously isn't much oxygen on your planet geo. chicago !

    October 17, 2007 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  5. khairulnizambakeri

    This is SO true.
    Good for you, Obama!

    October 17, 2007 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  6. Zach, Appleton WI

    Is it a surprise to anyone that Cheney is also related to Bush? After all, every one of Satan's minions is share's a bloodline

    October 17, 2007 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  7. Antonio, Tempe AZ

    This reminds me of the latest theonion.com headline "Poll: Bulls*** is Most Important Issue for 2008 Voters". This entry is about as inane as the "Is Obama carrying a purse?" entry and as useful as the "When Mars attacks, Giuliani's ready".

    I'm surprised we haven't heard much about the candidates' pets or the candidates' positions on boxers vs briefs.

    October 17, 2007 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  8. Jerry McGiver Enfield, Ct.

    I've heard that "politics makes strange bedfellows" but, this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

    October 17, 2007 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  9. Brenda, Cherry Hill, NJ

    I'm sure you'll keep slandering the guy so that trash Hillary (with the bad face lift) will flip CNN some more cash/business. Or is Jim Bremer of Texas flipping you cash? That guy is WHACK!

    October 17, 2007 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  10. JB, Portland, OR

    Every super-rich American is related to every other super-rich American.

    October 17, 2007 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  11. Michelle,Blacklick, Ohio

    The aftermath of slavery runs deep and sad….

    Posted By Kaycee Hopkins, New York, NY : October 16, 2007 10:36 pm

    This is a funny statement considering Barak's father came from Africa and his mom what white. It's obvious the relative they are linking Obama and Cheney too is white. Gesh, people are so silly. What difference does it make? When are we all going to get over this whole racial divide?

    October 17, 2007 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  12. Tickled my Funny Bone

    I LOVE Obama's sense of humor... "Black Sheep of the family.."

    October 17, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  13. BJ mpls mn

    Why is Bill Burton so nasty–He said that cheney is sort of a black sheep of the family-If cheney said that he would be racies.

    One thing I notice is that the democrats are more mean than the Indep and Repu

    October 17, 2007 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  14. Steve, Lovelock, Nevada

    What a pathetic thread of comments. Instead of saying that there is common ground to be found between all of us and that MAYBE, just MAYBE, we could use the common ground between us all to find answers to the significant problems that plague this country, this thread did nothing but bash Bush, Cheney and Obama. Further indication our country is doomed unless we start healing ourselves and showing respect for each other.

    October 17, 2007 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  15. Rick, Syracuse NY

    Well good to see the bloodline is improving over time. After all look at how much it will improve in the short amount of time between bush's regime and Obama being elected! We'll jump from a guy who will only go to war if he's all coked up behind a desk to a guy who will at least lead us out of the mess created by the republicans!

    October 17, 2007 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  16. Kunle, Coventry

    Oh America! You never cease to amaze the world!

    October 17, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  17. Marylou Anderson Iowa

    That seals my vote for CLINTON!

    October 17, 2007 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  18. laurinda,ny

    I hope that when Cheney had his operation they put in rayco batteries.

    October 17, 2007 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  19. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Whoop de do. And this is something that anyone should care about?

    October 17, 2007 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  20. Riaz, Jersey City, NJ

    Yep.. few hundred generations before we all had a common father ADAM (mpbuh) !!!

    October 17, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  21. Gvan20

    Dont they have better things too do people are dieing

    October 17, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  22. J. Crobuzon

    Cheney's great-great-great-grandfather was a Muslim? Awesome! America really is the melting pot.

    October 17, 2007 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  23. TMAN

    OH I KNEW IT ALL ALONG!!!!!
    I'VE BEEN SAYING IT SINCE THE BEGINNING, WHY I THINK I'M A FRIGGIN MYSTIC!!!!
    DID I NOT SAY THAT OBAMA WAS AN IMPOSTOR, A PRETENDER, A JUGGERNAUT SENT TO DISRUPT AND DESTROY AMERICA'S TRUE MANIFEST DESTINY? YOU SEE I WAS RIGHT, IT WAS IN HIS BLOOD AFTER ALL!!!
    MAYBE THIS EXPLAINS WHERE FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS OF CAMPAIGN MONEY CAME FROM, CONSIDERING OBAMA IS SCARCELY PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL.

    October 17, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  24. Matthew, Manchester, CT

    Once again a very vital tidbit of information that CNN chooses to post. I think I'll get some more pertinent and salient issues out of Doonesbury or maybe the Jumble in the newspaper from now on...

    October 17, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  25. maurice, washington, dc

    At the end of the day we are all related, that's what this goes to prove. Our similarities out weighs our differences although we tend to act otherwise.

    Politics is just politics and nothing more. Think of the bigger picture...try tracing your roots and see where it takes you...our dna is 99.9999% the same...

    October 17, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
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