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Still a small world-maybe smaller

Just in case you were wondering about the Obama-Cheney Relationship.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday he hasn't reached out to ''Cousin Barack'' Obama since reports that the two share a distant relatives.

In an interview for CNBC's ''Kudlow & Company,'' Cheney was asked whether he and Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate, have discussed their ancestral link.

''Cousin Barack?'' Cheney said. ''No, we haven't -- haven't had the opportunity to talk about it.''

Lynne Cheney, the vice president's wife, told MSNBC last week she uncovered the long-ago ties between the two while researching her ancestry for her latest book, ''Blue Skies, No Fences.''

The vice president said he was unsure about bringing it up with the Illinois senator.

''Well, I didn't know whether that would help him or hurt him, so I thought I'd probably stay away from him,'' he said.

Obama is a descendent of Mareen Duvall, said Ginny Justice, a spokeswoman for Lynne Cheney. The French Huguenot's son married the granddaughter of a Richard Cheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650's from England.

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

Lynne Cheney 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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I was not.

We all have relatives who but for the requirement to love all, we would not regret being rocked in the bosom of abraham, POOR BARACK

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.