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. ed winter park Fl

    You Cheney's will say or do anything in hopes of trying to improve your image or respect. Nothing will ever improve how America knows or feels about you and your spouse.

    October 17, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  2. Kristy Vaughn, Florida

    To Joan Nicolson:
    Exactly! The 17th century connection between Obama and Bush is the REAL story! 🙂

    October 17, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. Will, NYC

    Jim Bremer, disgusting racists such as yourself is one of the reasons America's greatness has been tarnished.

    Also, I know you think your doing this smear for christianity and the republican party, but Jesus is appalled and ashamed that you question and lie about the religiousity of a fellow Christian, though I see only one Christian in deeds here and it isn't you.

    October 17, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  4. oddvincent

    Of course they're related. They're both descended from the Lizard People who, as David Icke has revealed, took over the earth centuries ago and rule our destinies.

    Silly big lizards. Don't they know we're on to them?

    October 17, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. PSKing Lakeside, AZ

    Oh my goodness! That poor man! I certainly hope someone told him privately before this was spread all over the news. A man has to have time to prepare for gut-wrenching news. To find you are related to one of history's nastiest figures. My deepest sympathies to you, Sen. Obama.

    October 17, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  6. Donald, Murphy Texas

    Well there you go another reason not to vote for Barack Obama, If he were to get into office he would be taking orders from not one but two former presidents Bush’s. Gees all we need is a Bush for a third term.

    October 17, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  7. Sarah , Milwaukee, WI

    If this really "seals your vote" for Hillary, wow are you stupid.
    That is not a reason to vote for her and you are ignorant.

    October 17, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. Andy, Maybrook, NY

    If one investigates the Presidents of our country you will see that there is a bloodline of the ruling elite. To name a few, Kerry and Bush are related as is Gore and Nixon and Bush.

    October 17, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. Nate

    Not a big deal, they have a tie in the past.. so what. Plus, the Bush administration's backing Hillary for president.

    October 17, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Ronnie.Irving,Texas

    Just another reason not to vote for Obama.

    October 17, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. Lou Dobbs, Plano TX

    Evolution took a wrong turn somewhere down the line it seems, to give rise to Cheney and Bush! Wheres Larry Craig to set the Republican values straight?

    October 17, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. James, San Antonio, TX

    Hey, The Pot calling the Kettle Black!

    October 17, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Troy Longmire, Brooklyn, NY

    Well, we now know who is not getting my vote.

    October 17, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Chris, FL

    Guess what, we're all bloody related! Adam and Eve, hello!!

    For those of you that don't believe, look at the pyramid of relationships. It's all a multiplication factor.

    Anyhow, I'm related to Obama and Cheney. My Asian wife is too. We're all related. What does it matter?

    I'm sure Obama isn't all that crazy about this knowledge.

    October 17, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. laurinda,ny

    We are so fortunate not to have seen what other's had written, but we can assume that it wasn't very pleasant! I love a good game of chess. I think I just took your first castle.

    October 17, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Shelley, Charlottesville, VA

    We are all related, this is not anything new. Clinton and Bush are related, not news, hug a child, read a book to a child, save some money, times are going to get tough before they get better.

    October 17, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Vermont

    Thats dumb! Vote for Republicans!!

    October 17, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. A. Kalamazoo, MI


    October 17, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. Los808

    I suddenly dont like Obama!

    October 17, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. John, Silver Spring, Maryland

    I know that I can't vote for Obama now!

    October 17, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. J.Crobuzon

    Actually, I don't believe that Lynne Cheney would be truthful about that. Just my own Constitutionally-protected opinion, but I figure she made it all up.

    October 17, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Rose, Abbeville, SC

    Somehow the CNN writers always find time to write something that wastes my time....

    October 17, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. RJ, AZ

    Wow...what a messed up way to try to take a stab at Cheney. All this really proves is that Mrs. Cheney was lying on the Glen Beck show when she said many people still like ol' Dickie-poo. She obviously knows that saying they're 14th cousins 18 times removed or whatever will hurt Barack's chances with the Mormons and buck-toothed idiots in this country...

    October 17, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    "Barack is a humanitarian, Cheney is a misanthrope. Barack is a populist, and Cheney is a fascist. Barack would rather make love, not war!"

    - Dan Dean, Orlando. FL

    Misanthrope better defines left-wing socialists who believe that mankind is so flawed and incompetent that he needs big government to save him from himself.

    October 17, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Just when I thought the American Presidential Race couldn't become more of a comedy hour...THIS !!!

    October 17, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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