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Barack Obama's family tree finds a better gunslinger than Dick Cheney

July 30, 2008 | 12:32 pm

Barack Obama has gotten a lot of mileage in his stump speeches making light of the ancestral intersection of his and Dick Cheney's family lines. A little bit ago in Springfield, Mo., Obama claimed another possible limb on the tree -- Wild Bill Hickok, reports our colleague Steve Braun on the Obama camBarack_obama_says_family_legend_is_paign bus. Said Obama:

"So if Senator McCain wants to debate taxes, then I'm ready. I was just reading, I was just reading that Wild Bill Hickok, he had the first duel in the town square here in Springfield. And I don't know if people are aware of the fact -- I have not done all the full research on this, but the family legend is that Wild Bill Hickok, he's a distant cousin of mine ... I'm serious... This is part of the family legend. I don't know if it's true, but that's the legend. So we're going to research that 'cause I'm ready to duel John McCain on taxes. Right now, right here. I'm a quick draw."

Note that, at least according to this short bio, Hickok and Cheney share something else: Both shot a friend accidentally. Given that gene pool, Obama might want to leave the quick draws to another family.

-- Scott Martelle