Thursday, October 18, 2007

Story of the Day - Cheney and Obama related

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All in the family: Cheney and Obama related
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.

Obama a distant cousin to Cheney, Bush

All in the family: Cheney and Obama related

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Veep's Wife Says Hubby and Obama Related
Vice President Dick Cheney and Democrat Barack Obama Are Eighth Cousins, Lynne Cheney Says
Though they may spar across the political aisle, Vice President Dick Cheney is close enough to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to call him "cousin."

Very distant cousin, that is.

Lynne Cheney, the vice president's wife, spoke about this tantalizing bit of political trivia during a television interview Tuesday.

She said she uncovered the long-ago ties between the two while researching her ancestry for her latest book, "Blue Skies, No Fences," a memoir about growing up in Wyoming.

"This is such an amazing American story that one ancestor ... could be responsible down the family lines for lives that have taken such different and varied paths as Dick's and Barack Obama," Lynne Cheney told MSNBC.

According to her spokeswoman, Sen. Obama, D-Ill., is a descendent of Mareen Duvall. This French Huguenot's son married the granddaughter of a Richard Cheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650's from England, said Ginny Justice, a spokeswoman for Lynne Cheney.

The vice president's full name is Richard B. Cheney.

A spokesman for Obama, who wants to be the first black U.S. president, offered a tongue-in-cheek response. "Every family has a black sheep," said spokesman Bill Burton.

Lynne Cheney did not reference the ancestral ties between her husband and Obama in the book. She told MSNBC the relationship was eighth cousin. But last month, the Chicago Sun-Times traced it as ninth cousins once removed.

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Just how closely related are Cheney and Obama?
Lynne Cheney told MSNBC yesterday that her husband and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama are eighth cousins.

A month ago, the Chicago Sun-Times said the two very different politicians are "ninth cousins once removed."

The Sun-Times based that conclusion on this connection:

Obama is related to Cheney through Mareen Duvall, a 17th century immigrant from France.

Mareen and Susannah Duvall were Obama's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents and Cheney's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents.

We can't get our mind around all this. Anybody out there who can bring some expertise to this "important" news so that we can figure out what sort of cousins they are?

Meanwhile, Obama spokesman Bill Burton says of the apparent Obama-Cheney kinship that, "every family has a black sheep." Will he be charged by the political correctness police?

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