U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Barack Obama, a leading Democratic contender for the next presidency, are embracing a recent revelation that they have common ancestors, the Hill newspaper reported Friday.
The family ties, which were first revealed by Cheney's wife, Lynne, according to the report.
When asked about the fact that he and Obama could trace back their ancestry to an immigrant couple from France, Cheney said that he and "cousin Barack" have not had a chance to talk about the newfound kinship.
"I didn't know whether that would help him or hurt him, so I thought I'd probably stay away from him," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC.
Obama apparently believes that the revelation helps him -- he used it in Ohio on Friday.
The senator, in part of a speech relating to energy independence, said the country would not rid itself of dependency on foreign oil because "my cousin, Dick Cheney" is in charge of energy policy in the White House.
"We've been trying to hide that for a long time," Obama quipped, as though he had known about the common ancestry.
"You know, everybody's got a black sheep in the family," Obama added. "They do."