Obama and Wild Bill, Cousins?
By Jonathan Weisman
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- File this one under the category, "Who knew?"
Sen. Barack Obama, speaking at a packed town hall meeting here at Glendale High School, decided to take on presumptive Republican nominee John McCain when he revealed he was genetically ready for the fight. It seems, he said, that he is a distant cousin of Wild Bill Hickock.
"I'm serious," he said to incredulous but good-natured laughter. "That's part of the family legend. I don't know if it's true. But I'm ready to duel John McCain on taxes."
The Hickock legend got its start in Springfield, where the gunfighter met a former Confederate soldier named Davis Tutt in 1865. In debt to Tutt and perhaps sore over a mutual girlfriend, Susannah Moore, Hickock squared off with his adversary on July 21 that year in the Springfield town square and gunned him down in a "quick draw."
That may not be what Obama had in mind for McCain, but he said he is ready for Republican attacks on him as a tax hiker. Both men have detailed tax plans, and both ultimately cut taxes overall, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, jointly run by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.
McCain has had his own problems on the tax issue in recent days, taking fire from conservatives for suggesting that he could entertain tax hikes as part of a comprehensive fix to the nation's entitlement woes.
As for Obama's family ties, they just get wider. Last night, at a fundraiser here, a young woman told him she, too, was a very distant cousin of his.
Web Politics Editor
July 30, 2008; 4:21 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama
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