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Obama's Eight Degrees of Dick Cheney

Vice President Cheney is related to Sen. Barack Obama.

At least that was the stunning announcement made yesterday by Lynne Cheney, who said that the very white vice president from Wyoming is in fact the eighth cousin of Obama, the Senate's only African American member. She said she discovered the link, traced back to a French Huguenot who figured prominently in Maryland history, while researching her latest book.

"This is such an amazing story," Cheney said in an interview on MSNBC, "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." Cristina Allegretto, Mrs. Cheney's research and project manager at the American Enterprise Institute, said the vice president's wife did an exhaustive genealogical search of her family while working on "Blue Skies, No Fences." Her research led her to an early Cheney settler named Richard Cheney, whose granddaughter married Samuel Duvall, whose mother, Mareen Duvall, is distantly related to Obama. Lynne Mrs. Cheney read a story that said Obama was related to Mareen Duvall, and realized the link.

Obama, whose mother was white, did not immediately comment on the revelation. But his campaign made light of the tie, without confirming it. "Obviously, Dick Cheney is the black sheep of the family," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

-- .Anne E. Kornblut

By Post Editor  |  October 16, 2007; 9:07 PM ET
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