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. chiu,nyc,ny

    Is she coming up with a book too? Fool no one. This sounds like she is talking of slaverly. she should be investigated!

    October 16, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. therealist

    Ahhh, the power of the media.
    You see black voters, a biased media can trear down even a Saint. I hope the effects of its corruption is no longer a fussy issue for you. Equality should be demanded on every level, by everyone..

    October 16, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. hillarylover NY NY

    CNN continues to allow racism on its blogs. What a shame.

    Hillary 2008

    October 16, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. RightyTighty

    I hear Dick has invited him to go hunting..

    October 16, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Coach Haughton NH

    Reggie Anaheim

    October 16, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Newzaroo Fargo, ND

    So is Hillary related to Big Momma? Those thick ankles are my first clue.

    October 16, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Lona Tucker, Long Beach, CA

    If Cheney's family is related to Barak's then it must envolve rape on Cheney's side! Only , now the Cheney family is bending us all over!

    October 16, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Milo Janus, Dunellen, NJ

    This is like the movie "Twins": Obama gets all of the charm, and Cheney gets all of the gruff junk.

    Man, this news must really be upsetting the GOP base. He's got a gay daughter and now has a black man in his family?

    October 16, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. El.Kabong Santa Clara, CA

    Obama... I am your Father...

    October 16, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. Mongo, SF, CA

    Now the question is; "Is Chaney black enough?"

    October 16, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. gloryus, San Rafael, CA

    Thank you "uriew". I agree with you: CNN and other media seem hell bent on trying to wrangle Barack Obama into their rhetorical "nooses" of misinformation. Yes, we the People will vote for someone willing to represent all of us!

    October 16, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Lance in Monrovia CA

    I don't care who Obama is related to, he's still going to be kicking Dick Cheney in the butt on his way out the door come 2009.

    Did you hear they raised 500,000 dollars today for Obama's campaign after he sent out an email pointing out Hillary beat him by 2 mill and we needed to close the gap.

    I'm about to go donate 25 bucks. Screw the polls and the establishment.

    Obama 08!

    October 16, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Lyle Anderson, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Jeb Bush won't run this election, Hillary is a lock (Americal has lost the war in Iraq), George Bush is a lame duct, Democrates are doing all they can to assure a defeat of Americal in Iraq. Jeb will be needed after 8 years of the mess of Hillary to stave off invasions of America by the army of Apocalypse from the east and west. We'll have to liberate France again. This is what Bush presidents do best "Clean up the mess left by Clintons and the Democrates".

    October 16, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. a voter in Wallingford, CT

    Jim Bremer: You are a fool.

    Obama is a Christian, not a muslim.

    Get your facts straight.

    October 16, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    One other contrast worth noting – Obama represents hope and Cheney represents evil.

    October 16, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Karen, NYC

    Oh Hell No! This is a set up!

    October 16, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Terry, Boston MA

    Wow! Cheney is turning out to be quite the progressive. His daughter's a lesbo and he's related to a black man. Maybe he should run for the Green Party

    October 16, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. bukky, baltimore MD

    "Cheney. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times last September, Obama is also an 11th cousin of the president himself."

    Should'nt this say that "Obama is Related to Clinton"

    And to all to who keep saying Obabma swore in on the Quran. PLEASE NOTICE THE BIBLE.

    The muslim congressman is from California

    October 16, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Elinor G., Ypsilanti, MI

    Lynne Cheney, a fake scholar, is just trying to sell her latest book. But it was a slick move to try to turn people off to Obama at the gut level. (That's what she does–co-opts others' messages/essences in an effort to weaken them–as when she handed Don Imus a pack of pork chops after he called the VP "pork chop butt," and she carried along a Darth Vader doll when she appeared on The Daily Show. This time she's gone all the way to supposed DNA. Yuck, what wiles.)

    October 16, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. G. Winchester, New York, NY

    Wasn't someother slaveowner related to Obama not too long ago? Was it Trent Lott?? Strom Thurmond??

    I think it's terrible to drag Obama's name through the mud like this. And to add insult to injury, they have to throw in something about "the current president", too.

    I think I'd slice my wrists if I ever found out I was even remotely related to such a failure in the White House – our chimp, the dictator.

    October 16, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. Jackie

    I thought that along while back this is the truth wow..when he step into the race after the oprah show i said to my self i wonder if he knows the cheneys/bush's,listen to his speeches ahh uhh uhh uhhh..he talks like a republican bush

    Hillary more sense to support her.you have my vote,

    October 16, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    So that's how Massachusetts sailors killed time on that trip between the Ivory Coast and Barbados.

    October 16, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. pam Eugene OR

    CNN..Did you get this info fron the billary machine? Every time I think you can't go any lower you do!
    Tell me how this is news other than to embarass Obama.
    New lows for you CNN

    October 16, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. RG, SF, CA

    Shouldn't someone who works for Obama not use the "black sheep of the family" term? It is based on the whole black=bad, white=good construction. Why not say Dick Cheney is the crazy evil grandfather in the family?

    October 16, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. clay

    Im pretty sure she means "OSAMA"

    October 16, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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