October 17th, 2007
09:53 AM ET
13 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. R Santos - San Antonio, Tx

    Now that the secret is out and Obama is related to Cheney and Bush, for sure I cannot even consider voting for him.

    October 17, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Tom, Macon, GA

    I don’t care if Obama was related to Henry the 8th, he will never be president because of his polices not his race.

    Reference to AA from Arizona (Who types in capitol font)

    No where in this article it says any black women were raped. I’m sure it happened along with all sorts of terrible things that happened in that time era. I’m also sure all sorts of crimes were committed by all races of people.

    Please don’t make everything a race issue. Its 2007 people. I know some people will comment about the nooses. Well if the media and all these “activist” ignored them, people would stop. Its just like when we were kids, ignore the idiots and they will go away.

    October 17, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. msrb

    What next?

    Hillary Clinton is going to reveal that GWB and Sally Jones were first cousins!

    [Or was it "Crap" the Rhesus Monkey?]

    Note:Sally Jones, approximately 47, longtime resident of The Fund for Animals' Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, passed away at 4:00 PM, March 21, 1997. As an infant chimpanzee, Sally was captured in Africa around 1950.

    [Google for Famous Monkeys Through History)

    October 17, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |

    This is very interesting. Well, because of his blood relationship with our President and Chaney, I think he should be the next President. I withdraw all my criticsm of Obama. From now on I will not attack his campaign.

    Yeah Right!

    October 17, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Jason St.Louis MO

    Barak's Mother is White, that is the side they are related by.

    Barak's father is from Africa, he is NOT the descendant of American Slaves.


    October 17, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    I don't agree with Obama's politics of hate, division, lies, and redistribution of the wealth-robbing hard working middle class people and giving their money to people who are paid to just reproduce and vote democrat. He is a soldier for the entitlement class for sure.

    However, since I'm a conservative I cannot hate the man and wish him harm so I hope that he never gets close to being a threat to Queen Hillary. I would hate to see him be the next one to get Fosterized.

    Also, I believe that in MLK's dream, he wanted minorities to be able to choose their own ideology and politics without severe racist based repurcusions. As you can see with what liberal democrats have done to Rice, Powell, and Clarence Thomas (almost as bad as lib homophobia against all gays who are not libs which is worse than anything ever from people like Fred Phelps), libs are holding back that dream.

    October 17, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Stacey, Hayward California

    Why does CNN continue to bother with posting such ridiculous, tabloid-esque stories – specifically about Barak Obama. Next I'll be reading on your site that he really came from outer space, has two horns and a tail! I thought your publication was better than that. This is something I'd expect from the National Enquirer but not you. Clearly I should lower my expectations.

    October 17, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. LocustTree Philadelphia, PA

    Barack Obama opposed Dick Cheney's war in Iraq.

    Hillary Clinton voted for it.

    October 17, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Glen, Boston, MA

    I think this actually helps Barack.

    There seems to be a contingent of ignorant Americans who insist on saying "Barack Hussein" everytime they mention his name – a childish attempt to discredit a man worthy of respect, even if one is not voting for him.

    Perhaps this will awaken within them an awareness of the unity between all life. Imagine where we could go from there.

    October 17, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Glen, Kansas City MO

    I am also a Mareen Duvall descendant. So was Harry S. Truman, actor Robert Duvall, and the Queen of Albania. By the way, Mareen Duvall was a "he" not a "she".

    October 17, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Anonymous

    God help us if either this guy or Hillary gets in office. They are both CFR members... period.

    Ron Paul 2008!

    October 17, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Kotoo Nasheville TN

    Great Job CNN. This is the story of Most Importance during an Election Year and an Iraqi War. I am sure the fact that Obama and Cheney are related will greatly influence the outcome of the next Election, and help America and its allies win the Iraqi war and establish peace in the Middle East. How come you didn't report this story earlier ? Hurray for CNN.

    October 17, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Hurray Boston MA

    I heard Clintons pet cat is related to Bushes pet dog. Is this true Wolf ? Can you please do a story on this ? It is very important.

    October 17, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. P. Lynn, Carbondale, IL. 62901

    Mareen Duvall was male. Very rich, lots of land and slaves. I am related to him myself. That is how I know.

    October 17, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Danielle Clarke

    Thankfully one member of the family can make up for all the murder and destruction created by the other.


    October 17, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Tommy

    Well, there you have it. Obama must be marked of the list as a viable candidate if he's related to Cheney. Can't have that.

    October 17, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. my911call, Wilmington, NC

    Hillary lovers:
    Do not stoop to disrespectful insults about Obama. He is a good man trying to do the right thing. He is a DEMOCRAT representing the needs of the people. I favor Hillary, but Obama should be respected. Democrats need to make sure they hold themselves to a higher standard. Hillary lovers need to represent themselves as rational.

    October 17, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. iKenneth - Louisville, KY/Columbus, OH

    does that mean the Cheneys are supporting Barack Obama??

    October 17, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Tammy, Denton, Maryland

    It's just unbelievable how the media trivializes our election process.

    This is the biggest bunch of nonsense to date.

    However, what I will do is forward this information to Pat Wilson down in Alabama. She's a state employee who has been sending out emails, on behalf of Clinton's campaign, describing Obama as tied to a Muslim conspiracy to destroy the US.

    To: Pat Wilson,

    Now you will have to add Dick Cheney and George Bush to your nasty emails. Since they're related to Obama they must be Muslim extremists as well.

    Start sending your hate filled emails to George Bush, Dick Cheney and all their family, friends and supporters.

    Use your good government job to let the world know that we have a Muslim extremist (by your definition) occupying the White House.

    October 17, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Enoch, Nashville, Tennessee

    What a surprise that CNN would even consider this news worthy.
    In the first place, the entire human race have a common ancestry, this is no news, now get this! everyone in this blog are related, oops! just gave CNN breaking News. C'mon people! let's get real, if you don't want to vote for Barack Obama, that's ok, there's no need making up negative stories that are irrelevant. CNN! just report the facts, no pandering, no twisting of facts. If this report was about ancestory, I don't recall seeing who Hillary Clinton was related to or can I assume she has no relatives since your report was silent on that. Well! here's another Breaking News for you, ready! get your pens! cameras rolling!

    October 17, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Teressa, Mountain View NC

    You just never know who you are related too!
    Democrates are openminded (that is why we are Dems) so I really don't care if he is related to Dick.
    But as for the Republicans....to know Dick is part Muslim and Black...I wonder what they think of Dick now? LOL!

    October 17, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Nix Chick, Hickory NC

    "This is what Bush presidents do best "Clean up the mess left by Clintons and the Democrates".

    Posted By Lyle Anderson, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    What do you know about it?? Bush=War period.
    Oh that's right, Obama is Christian not Muslim I forgot about that. I could care less what religion someone is-unlike some people..ahem...republicans...


    October 17, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Marilyn, Victoria, TX

    Did anyone stop to notice that they are related by marriage, not by blood???? The original Richard Cheney's granddaughter married a Duvall. The Duvall is not in the Cheney line. Duh!!!

    October 17, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. monica, rochester new york

    Please save the photo used for this story. Some haters try to spread lies that Obama was sworn in on the Koran. Notice the picture of his swearing in on the christian Bible. Even if you don't support Obama, at least base it on facts not deliberate lies. Obama is a proud christian, not that his religion should matter. But some try to play on Americas fear of "muslims" by spreading false information. He is a christian, end of story. Put it to rest, stick with the facts.

    October 17, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Jim Bremer

    QUOTE : Jim Bremer: You are a fool.

    Obama is a Christian, not a muslim.

    Get your facts straight.

    Posted By a voter in Wallingford, CT : October 16, 2007 6:55 pm

    Uh..then why is his name Barak Hussein ? What about Saddam Hussein ? Was he a Christian too ? Please straighten all my facts – thanks

    October 17, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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