Many anthropologists argue that we are all related -- it's called the "Eve Theory."
But this is almost too much. A genealogist, going back several centuries, says President Obama is distantly related to Sarah Palin on his mother's side, and is a 10th cousin once removed of one of his arch-critics, fiery conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh.
said it examined Obama's family tree and found he has a common matriarchal ancestor to Palin named John Smith, a 17th-century pastor in Massachusetts who opposed the persecution of Quakers, the Associated Press
reported Wednesday. "He was a very socially conscious man," said genealogist Anastasia Tyler.
Limbaugh, who declared last year that he hoped Obama's presidency would fail, is said to be related through a man named Richmond Terrell, a landowner in 17th-century Virginia.
Obama's late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was from Wichita, Kan., and of English, Irish and German descent.
Genealogists find ancestors by tracing family trees back as far as possible. Connecting well known people through distant cousins is a time-honored exercise.
Palin, for instance, is said to be distantly related to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a man she is trying to defeat in Nevada by backing his Republican rival, Sharron Angle. Obama is believed to have a great-great-great-grandfather in County Offaly, Ireland
. And Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, believes Cheney and Obama are eighth cousins (The Chicago Sun-times says they're ninth cousins, once removed). And finally, former President George W. Bush is related -- going way back -- to both
Obama and Palin, according to Ancestry.com.