Dick Cheney and Barack Obama Are Distant Cousins

In an interview yesterday promoting her new book, Lynne Cheney made the comment that her husband is a distant cousin of Presidential contender Barack Obama (the Second Lady said eighth cousins, but they may actually be ninth cousins, once removed). Mrs. Cheney discovered the connection between the Vice President and the Illinois senator while conducting genealogical research for her memoir about growing up in Wyoming.

Disparate politicians having common ancestors really shouldn’t be surprising. We already know that Senator Obama is also an eleventh cousin of President Bush, and Bush and his 2004 Presidential rival John Kerry are sixteenth cousins, thrice removed. In fact, every person on earth is related in some way to everyone else because we are all descendants from the first man. But that doesn’t stop the media from printing items about the family ties of politically-dissimiliar people as if they were shocking revelations.

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