We’ll See Your Poor Brother and Raise You Two Neglected Sisters


Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday, after Italian Vanity Fair dredged up Barack Obama’s destitute, estranged brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama, in a shack in Nairobi, we wondered if the McCain campaign would use it against the moneyed Democratic candidate. It seems someone on the Obama campaign might have thought the same thing, because yesterday came the news that there were not one but two unacknowledged siblings on the McCain side. Kathleen Hensley Portalski, of Phoenix, told NPR she’s bummed that Cindy’s been going around calling herself the “only child” of beer baron Jim Hensley when she knows full well her dad had another child, namely Portalski, before he met Cindy’s mom. That Kathleen, a slightly fatter dead-ringer for Cindy, got a mere $10,000 from her dad’s will when Cindy got millions also stings a little bit, but Portalski says at this point she just wants to be recognized. “It’s terribly painful,” Portalski said of McCain’s repeated “only child” claims. “It is as if she is the ‘real’ daughter. I am also a real daughter.” Ouch. Furthermore, Cindy McCain’s mother had another daughter, Dixie Burd, when she met Jim Hensley, but no one knows what happened to her, and Cindy McCain is not about to explain things. “Mrs. McCain was raised as the only child of Jim and Marguerite Hensley, and there was no familiar relationship with any other sibling,” the McCain campaign said in response to the kerfuffle. Wow, she didn’t even acknowledge them in the statement? That’s pretty cold.

Cindy McCain’s Distanced Relatives [WP]
Related: Will McCain’s Surrogates Bring Up Barack Obama’s Destitute Kenyan Brother?