In presidential politics, everything really is relative


You know that saying you can pick your friends but not your family? Well, what’s true for us common folk is true for those folks running for the highest office in the land, too. You see, even presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can’t escape the curse/blessing of unexpected relatives.

Earlier this week the New England Historic Genealogical Society uncovered distant relatives for all the major presidential contenders. Turns out if you’re a Democrat, no matter how you vote, you’re voting for the Brangelina Ticket. Those clever genealogists discovered that Obama is related to Brad Pitt and Clinton to Angelina Jolie. Talk about your dream ticket.

On the other side of the aisle, turns out Republican nominee John McCain is related to First Lady Laura Bush. But, yawn, enough about that old codger. Let’s act like all the major media outlets and obsess about Hillary and Barack some more. As luck would have it, Brangelina isn’t the two Democratic hopefuls’ only interesting familial bonds.

Let’s start with the senator from Illinois. It was discovered earlier in the campaign that he was cousins with Vice President Dick Cheney, but it appears his roots stretch even higher into the executive branch, or should we say shrub. You see, Obama is related to both Cheney and President George W. Bush.

Poor Barack, he does not seem to be taking this news well. But then, would you? Also on Obama’s distant relative list are presidents George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry S. Truman and James Madison as well as British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and Civil War General Robert E. Lee.

Over in Camp Clinton, they’re singing a happier tune. Besides Angelina, Hillary is related to singers Madonna, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette. You know, I can see the family resemblance — these are all strong women who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and know what to do with a microphone.

Heck, Hill and daughter Chelsea looks so tickled about this news, you’d think they just won the lottery or — you know — the presidency. But then, like I said, wouldn’t you?

So, anyone you wish you were related to? Any surprises in your family tree? That is, other than your crazy uncle Wally.

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