Barack Obama likes to joke that he and Vice President Dick Cheney are distant cousins.
Now, it turns out that he and the other major presidential contenders share lineage with several other famous historical figures and current celebrities, according to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
To wit, Obama, whose mother was born in Kansas, has at least six presidents, hailing from both parties, as distant cousins, including President Bush and his father, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, and James Madison. Other cousins include Winston Churchill, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and actor Brad Pitt.
The genealogical society, tracing the family trees of the presidential candidates, said today it also found that HiIlary Clinton has common ancestors with actress Angelina Jolie and Camilla Parker-Bowles, mistress and now wife of Prince Charles. Because Clinton's family has French-Canadian heritage, she is also distantly related to author Jack Kerouac and singers Madonna, Celine Dion, and Alanis Morissette.
On the Republican side, John McCain is a sixth cousin of First Lady Laura Bush, the genealogical society said. Because most of his ancestry is Southern makes "notable connections somewhat harder to trace because of challenges to genealogists in that region," genealogist Christopher Child said in a statement.
Child, while noting that famous cousins are interesting, said "it should not influence voters."
This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.