The Republican who humiliated Democrats by snatching Edward Kennedy’s long-held Senate seat in Massachusetts last week is President Obama’s cousin, a roots-tracing group discovered.
It’s not as if Scott Brown is a close relative – he’s actually the president’s 10th cousin – but it’s difficult to overlook the irony of the blood line. By defeating Democrat Martha Coakley on Jan. 19, Obama lost the benefits of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, which could ultimately undermine his shot at a healthcare overhaul.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society learned that Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Brown's mother, Judith Ann Rugg, both descended from Richard Singletary of Haverhill, Mass. He died in 1687 at 102.
Obama is a descendant of Singletary's eldest son, Jonathan, who later changed his last name to Dunham, The Los Angeles Times reports. Brown descends from Singletary's other son, Nathaniel.
"I'm glad to be in such distinguished company," Brown told the Times when told of the family tie.
This isn’t the first curious connection for the president. In 2008, the Times reports, the society found that Obama is related to seven previous presidents: George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry S. Truman and James Madison.
Actor Brad Pitt and billionaire Warren Buffet are also distant relatives.