i was eating lunch today, reading the l.a. times and watching nora o'donnell on msnbc. my mind was mostly on my tuna salad and slightly on an article talking about how the city of anaheim, home of mickey mouse, was opening a new museum, when i heard the strangest thing. nora o'donnell was interviewing lynne chenney and asked her how she felt about having a woman president. ms cheney mumbled something very republican and i turned back to my salad, when i then heard chenney say that she had done some research for her new book and found that her husband, and barak obama, were eighth cousins. i couldn't believe my ears. i rewound my tivo and sure enough - barak obama and dick cheney are cousins!
it's not the fact that a half black man and a white man in america are related that is so earth shattering, it is the fact that it is being brought up at all - and by a white man. it wasn't so long ago, in this country, that even a drop of black blood would disqualify one from many of the rights and privileges of our society. to have someone like dick cheney, of all people, come out of his closet and proclaim his relationship with a man of color, and a liberal man of color at that, is stunning.
knowing cheney as well as we all do after almost eight years of his scary presence (or non-presence) it is hard to imagine him doing anything without a motive. what could he possibly hope to gain by letting this little tidbit slip out? we know, with this guy, that nothing just happens, so he must have some ulterior motive. could it be that he is angling for a cabinet position in obama's administration? no, that wouldn't work. since bobby kennedy there is some kind of rule about nepotism in a presidential administration, so what could it be?
a few minutes after lynne cheney's announcement, nora o'donnell had an announcement of her own. it seems that not only is obama an eighth cousin to dick cheney, but he is also an eleventh cousin to george w. bush. this called for, once again, a tivo rewind. now, it seems that just about everyone is trying to get in on the act. what could possibly motivate these two arch conservatives to suddenly climb out of the obama family tree? the only thing i can think of is that maybe barak and michelle give really good christmas presents.