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. Anonymous

    Boy, the Republicans have sunk to a new low. Until Obama himself admits to this genealogical link, I will not believe it.

    I feel terribly sorry for him though.

    October 16, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  2. Wendy

    No more Bush dynasty; No more Cheney-lite!

    October 16, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. Angela, WPB, FL

    I hope he sues her for Defamation of Character, Inflicting Intentional Malicious Injury, Heinous Verbal Assault, etc,etc.

    (Not a lawyer, but you get the idea.)

    Also, I think its crap.

    Until Obama corroborates this, I'll just put it down to Campaign mudslinging by the Repubs.

    October 16, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  4. Dion, Elk Grove, California

    Guess what? We are all related....

    October 16, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. James, Phoenix AZ

    Does this make Mr. Obama a heartless, gutless, cowardly (5 deferrments) war profiteer?

    October 16, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  6. Max, Boston, MA

    I always knew Cheney was black.

    October 16, 2007 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  7. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "Yea, Bush has more class in his pinky than Obama has in all of his family tree."

    Incredible. Is that the same classy Bush who can't find one person to verify he actually served in Alabama, but refused to denounce the not-so-Swift Boat Veterans? Is that the same classy Bush who told us Rumsfeld would stay and "we've never been stay the course"? Is that the same classy Bush who read "The Pet Goat" while hundreds of Americans died and played air guitar while Katrina victims suffered? If that's anyone's definition of class, I hope Obama has NONE at all.

    October 17, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. Brock d'Avignon, Roseville CA

    All US presidents except Martin Van Buren are related to one another 20 generations back, according to my family genealogist. We have made a poster of this and as a US HIstory teacher, I am double checking it. For more info contact brock_davignon@yahoo.com

    October 17, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Geroge Boston

    Is this all you have to do at CNN ?

    October 17, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  10. Robert, Shelton CT

    I love this type of stuff....see how everyone is connected, now why can't we work together to find a common thread.

    October 17, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. George Boston

    And you must need a new modirator, if this moderator has posted the best that received.

    October 17, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  12. George Boston

    It is amazing to me that America's main news source has nothing better to spend their time at, than to state cheny and obama are related.

    October 17, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  13. George Boston

    Hillary is the next president. So who really cares if Cheney and Obama are related??

    October 17, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. George Boston

    I heard Bill Clinton and Abodjimad are related.

    October 17, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  15. George Boston

    What does this have to do with the Iraqi war and the American people ?

    October 17, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. mike, ventura, california

    just another member of the illuminati!!!! these bloodlines are ruling you and the world. wake up!

    October 17, 2007 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  17. Mr. Bush

    I heard CNN needs a new moderator for this page. When can I apply? And can I have Wolfe Blitzers job as well ?

    October 17, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. Atlanta Boz

    So is this good news or bad news.

    October 17, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  19. Bruno Chicago IL

    I think Wolf should do a story tomorrow, on who really cares if Cheney and Obama are related. Is this some kind of Campaign Spice or something ?

    October 17, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  20. Boama Chicago IL

    I heard CNN and Fox are merging, so maybe we can get a reliable news source. Is this more important than a Cheney and Obama story.

    October 17, 2007 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  21. Iraqi People Baghdad Iraq

    Please tell me you have better things to do than report on Cheney and Obama.

    October 17, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. 911 Truth, New York , New York

    Obama is part of illuminati, and so is Hillary. either do not bother to Vote or Vote for RON PAUL.

    October 17, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  23. Yoto Maryland NH

    Fox reports that Pelosi and Kennedy are 3rd cousins. Please do a story. This is so important.

    October 17, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  24. Wofle, Morgantown WV

    And I am related to Tony Blair. Hurray

    October 17, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  25. What Does, Mexico City Mexico

    And CNN is related to Disneyworld. Hurray.

    October 17, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
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