Obama, Bush, and Cheney Cousins

For months, there has been a not-so-subtle attempt to link Barack Obama to Muslim terrorists and the late Butcher of Baghdad based on that fact that his middle name is “Hussein” and his father was Muslim. Now, though, a revelation that’s sure to hurt Obama with Democratic primary voters: He’s related to both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell this afternoon, Lynne Cheney revealed that while researching the Cheney family tree for her new book “Blue Skies, No Fences,” she discovered that the Vice President Cheney and Barack Obama are related — albeit distantly. According to Mrs. Cheney, the two politicians are eighth cousins.

MSNBC’s Adam Verdugo has also dug up a little publicized story from the Chicago Sun-Times reporting that Obama and Bush are 11th cousins, making him 10th cousins once removed with former President George H.W. Bush.

Obama, Bush, and Cheney Cousins Photo obama and cheney at a family reunion Talk about your six degrees of separation!

Lot’s of blogger reaction at Memeorandum. The funniest, in the sense that a picture speaks a thousand words, is from skippy the bush kangaroo (thumbnailed right).

Thus far, no creative Patty Duke allusions.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ken says:

    I guess even the Obama family must have its own version of black sheeps. That there names are Cheney and Bush is rich with irony.

  2. Jay says:

    Aren’t we all pretty much that related if you go digging? Sheesh.

    IIRC research or computation or whatever a couple years back placed the most recent common ancestry (or maybe it was relatedness) at 800 years ago. That seems a bit recent for everyone in the world, but even if it’s a couple thousand…

    Anyway, yeah… 8th cousin means your 5th Great Grandparents shared common grandparents. My 7th great grandfather on the Ellis side was born in 1665. My 11th great grandfather was born in 1549, the farthest back I know. We’re talking common ancestry circa the Mayflower.

    Not that it isn’t amusing, but I’m not sure people realize just how distant that is.

  3. skippy says:

    thx for the link, otb!

  4. Triumph says:

    The fact that Cheney is related to B. Hussein Obama–an immigrant, trained in Islamic madrassas–is troubling. He cannot be trusted and should resign immediately.