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. Sam, Tampa, FL

    CNN should just get it over with and officially endorse Hillary Clinton. Hillary is getting so much attention on the major media outlets is sickening. And by bashing every non-Hillary presidential candidate, it's just making her "win" the PR race, and consequentially the presidential race. HRC = GWB

    October 16, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. thomas, new york, ny

    Yeah, and they both become VP of the united states.

    October 16, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. jacob, northfield, mn

    I dont care about this story. I would rather read about the failure of the house to pass a resolution against Turkey. But since its about another failure of a democrat controlled house, you wont read about it on CNN. Oh Well.

    October 16, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Wayne, Silver Spring, MD

    and this is news, how? ah, CNN! shame

    October 16, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. Richard, Baltimore MD

    Everyone is commenting on how Cheney could be related to Obama, Have we forgotten that Obama's mother is a white american. This relationship has nothing to do with his African father–who by the way was not muslim.

    October 16, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Gayle-Veteran4Peace, San Diego, Ca.

    OMG, I'd be devastated to learn that I was related to Bush & Cheney and I'm white. I'm sure if they all had I.Q. test Obama would score higher than either of them idiots, besides Obama wouldn't start a war over a bunch of out right lies to put money in his pocket. Bush & Cheney aren't christian like in anything they do! They will get what's coming to them...

    October 16, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  7. John, Everett WA

    "Luke, I'm your father....."

    October 16, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. Margo, Ottawa, Canada

    This is an obvious Republican ploy to blacken Obama's reputation. {;>9

    October 16, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. Raulin Mechanicsville VA

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

    October 16, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. Jaik , chicago, IL

    This is CNN trying to peel votes off Obama to support the triangulating republican-lite Clinton.

    October 16, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. Rosemary, Simi Valley, CA

    Is this another way for the Republicans to try and stop Obama from winning the nomination? Who cares. Most African Americans are tied to White people from slavery to current times. Probably 98 percent of all African Americans can tie some of their ancestry to White people. So what else is new.

    Obama must be gaining more steam out there than the Mainstream Media, Punditry Corps and Republicans want to give him. Why else would they keep comming up with things that pushs some people's buttons.

    This should answer the intelligent enough, smart enough and experienced questions, since all of those adjectives are used to describe Hillary.

    October 16, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. Kaycee Hopkins, New York, NY

    The aftermath of slavery runs deep and sad....

    October 16, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Larry, Philly, PA

    As usual, some people just need to get a "frickin" life!

    October 16, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  14. Conway, Arkansas

    Obama, is greatly smartand handsome to lead consciously the United States of America.

    We strongly support him,.

    God bless,. America.

    October 16, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. d. holland, Fort Worth, TX

    You guys forgot to label this story as an Onion satire, right?

    October 16, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. sonya, atlanta, ga

    With the kind of experience Cheny and HRC- Obama can do without. Let the baby boomers generation move to the side. Tried of replaying the vietman and cultural wars of the 69's that lead to this sorry state of paritsan bickering and do nothing government.

    October 16, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  17. Santosh Ganguly

    So if Obama is realted to Bush & Obama is also related to Cheney, does that mean it's Obama who has brought Bush closer to Cheney?

    Also, it was found back in 04' that Bush and Kerry are also related "by a distance." President is also a descendant of former Pres. Franklin Pierce. So we have Pierce-Bush-Kerry-Obama-Cheney related so far.

    Anyways, my opinion of Barack Obama, who I didn't care much for before has been upgraded a little (tongue-in-cheek!). At least he's related to class, even if I don't like his ideology.

    October 16, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. Jane Mehu, Hollywood, Fla.

    I'm also eager to know more about ties between Barack and Cheney, like how exactly are they linked? Who's the common ancestor, and also how is Barack related to the president? This is vague on details. CNN please flush out this news report.

    October 16, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. Louis, St. Louis, MO

    Yeah, they do have something in common: dirt-digger.

    See the following blog from Time
    October 16, 2007 10:38
    Filing Day: Obama's Little Little Rock Payments
    Posted by Ana Marie Cox

    A rival campaign alerted me to these details from the Obama filing:

    $27.00 For Printing At The Arkansas State Archives In Little Rock, Arkansas.
    $9.30 For Printing At The William J. Clinton Presidential Library In Little Rock, Arkansas.
    $207.75 For Travel/Lodging At The La Quinta Inn & Suites In Little Rock, Arkansas.

    In case you were wondering, copies at the Clinton library are $.15 a page, so that's 62 pages of oppo gold that Obama's people got their hands on. As far as I can tell, there are no similar disbursements in past Clinton filings, probably because her researchers just shove the documents in their pants.

    Way to go, Hussein!

    October 16, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  20. Troy

    Obama is Cheney-Lite!!! I'm lovin' this!!!

    October 16, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. Don, atlanta, ga

    Well.... Im surprised CNN didn't link him to Saddam Hussein! This is one funky anti-blackman news outlet!

    October 16, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. Jeff Morgan Austin, TX

    If anyone is wondering, 8 generations back predates the founding of America. If you're family is from America, we all probably have some colonists in common

    October 16, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  23. swissdiver

    Obama and Cheney's narcissistic, egotistical and conceited attitude certainly runs in the blood. They're both pathetic!!!

    October 16, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. George, Torrance,Ca

    You people are so hateful...don't most of you belong to the party of peace, love and non-judgement?

    October 16, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Melissa, Denton,TX

    Poor guy. He must be so depressed. I think I'd slit my throat if I found out I shared DNA with the spawn of Satan and his hench man.

    October 16, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
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