WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney joked about inbreeding in his family Monday and wound up having to apologize to the people of West Virginia.
Cheney, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, noted his distant relationship with Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential contender from Illinois. He then said he had a grandmother whose last name was Tyler but was descended from a Cheney.
"So I had Cheneys on both sides of the family, and we don’t even live in West Virginia," the vice president quipped.
"I truly cannot believe that any vice president of the United States, regardless of their political affiliation, would make such a derogatory statement about my state or any state, for that matter," Gov. Joe Manchin said.
Cheney’s office extended an apology.
"The vice president’s offhand comment was not meant to hurt anyone,” Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said. "On reflection, he concluded that it was an inappropriate attempt at humor that he should not have made. The vice president apologizes to the people of West Virginia for the inappropriate remark.”
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
Okay, so the guy made a joke. Why so sensitive? Sure, he didn’t need to stereotype. Politicians should behave better. He could have gone other directions with his analogy. Many of our family trees do not completely shade the lawn. However, those that made the quotable noise really should not be throwing stones. Family names might have been all we have to get us the places we are today…