5 Feisty Political Family Feuds, From Cheney to Roosevelt

PHOTO: In this July 17, 2013, file photo, Liz Cheney, left, speaks during a campaign appearance in Casper, Wyo., and her sister Mary Cheney, right, is seen in a Dec. 30, 2006, photo attending the funeral for former President Gerald Ford in Washington.
AP Photo

With sisters Mary and Liz Cheney's disagreement over same-sex marriage unfolding in public view, it's clear that even tight-knit political families can't always get along.

WATCH: Liz and Mary Cheney's Facebook Gay Marriage Feud

Whether its drama over money, political legacies or just plain-old personal beliefs, here are several well-known families in the running for the feistiest political family feuds:

1. Cheney Sisters in War of Words Over Same-Sex Marriage

Liz and Mary Cheney were often seen together supporting their father, Dick Cheney, on the campaign trail in the early 2000s. But now the famous sisters could be no further apart on the issue of same-sex marriage.

"I love Mary very much," Liz Cheney said of her lesbian sister in a Nov. 17 appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

"I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree."

Liz Cheney, a candidate for Senate in Wyoming, continued to reiterate her strong views against same-sex marriage on the Sunday show, which prompted a heated response from her sister-in-law via Facebook.

"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 - she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us," Heather Poe, Mary Cheney's spouse, wrote Sunday morning. "To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

Mary Cheney's partner delivered another blow to her sister-in-law by drawing attention to an issue that has plagued Liz Cheney's Senate campaign from the beginning: Accusations that the elder Cheney sister is a carpetbagger, and moved to Wyoming solely for political purposes.

"I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other," Poe wrote on Facebook.

The sisters public feuding prompted their famous parents to step in and mediate.

In a statement, the former vice president and Lynne Cheney said, "This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public. Since it has, one thing should be clear.

"Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. "

2. The Reagans' Brother-Against-Brother Battle

Diverging on issues of politics, religion and their father's legacy, the three surviving children of President Ronald Reagan have an often-fraught and estranged relationship that has been splashed across memoirs, the media and even Twitter.

The siblings lie on different ends of the political spectrum. Ron Reagan and Patti Davis, children of Ronald Reagan's second marriage to Nancy Reagan, are progressive liberals who publicly supported Barack Obama in 2008. Michael, adopted during Ronald Reagan's first marriage to actress Jane Wyman, is a staunch conservative.

The rivalry between Michael and Ron came to a head during 2011 when both were on tour promoting books in conjunction with the anniversary of what would have been their father's 100th birthday.

Asked by Christiane Amanpour in a 2011 interview on ABC News' "This Week" how the 40th president of the United States would fit in today's Republican party, Ron, the youngest of Reagan clan, didn't see it as a perfect fit.

"Somewhat uneasily," Ron Reagan replied. "After all, he did raise taxes…When he was governor of California, he signed into law one of the most liberal abortion policies in the country and also an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. So I'm not sure that today's Republican Party or Tea Party would be all that thrilled with him."

But Michael Reagan described his father to Amanpour as "original Tea Party" and said he believed he would have endorsed them. And he had even stronger words in response to his brother's claim that he had seen "the first glimmers" of Reagan's Alzheimer's while the president was still in office, tweeting that Ron "was an embarrassment to his father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother."

He told Amanpour, "Maybe it's because Ron comes from the left. Maybe this is Ron's way of -- of putting together the fact he didn't agree with his father's politics. And so if he can just put in his own mind my dad must have been ill with Alzheimer's, somehow Ron can forgive my father for all the things he did as President of the United States of America because Ron agreed with none of it."

Michael and sister Patti Davis also failed to agree on where Ronald Reagan would have stood regarding same-sex marriage.

"My father was raised in the Disciples of Christ and was a truly believing Christian," Michael Reagan said in an interview with The Daily Beast. "Do I believe he would have supported gay marriage? No."

In response, Davis said her father was "known for wanting less government" and "would truly be baffled at what the problem is. We're not talking about something that affects anybody else's life."

3. Nixon Sisters: From Maids of Honor to Courtroom Drama

Tricia and Julie Nixon, maids of honors at each other's weddings and steadfastly loyal to their father even in the heat of the Watergate scandal, were famously close.

But that changed in 1997, three years after Richard Nixon's death, when the sisters found themselves left to deal with the complicated matter of managing their father's library.

Although both easily agreed on creating a space that would shine a positive light on Nixon's presidency, questions arose regarding taxes, endowments and whether it should be family or professionals leading the library's charge.

The conflict came to a head when Julie sided with the library's executive director.

"It is not a clash between the two daughters," Dimitri Simes, president of the Nixon Center, a Washington, D.C., foreign policy think-tank funded by the foundation, told USA Today in 2002. "It is a clash between the two philosophies: a professional foundation or a family-controlled foundation."

Julie didn't visit the library for five years.

But the sisters reconciled in 2002, hugs in front of the courtroom and all, during a settlement regarding what was to be of a $19 million bequest by old Nixon pal Charles "Bebe" Rebozo.

4. Kennedy vs. Kennedy (and Taylor Swift)

Edward M. Kennedy spent more than 50 years in the Senate representing the state of Massachusetts, and was recognized for working across the aisle. But that legacy of compromise apparently didn't get passed down to his immediate family.

After the senator's death in 2009, his wife, Vicki Kennedy, was put in charge of handling the construction and management of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a project, estimated to cost $71 million. But her stepsons, Edward M. Kennedy Jr. and Patrick Kennedy, felt left out by their father's widow.

A family friend of the Kennedy children told the Boston Globe that Kennedy's two sons believed their stepmother was "undercutting the bipartisan spirit of the non-profit by relying too much on a small group of the senator's friends."

On the other hand, Boston Herald columnist Joe Battenfield called out the two sons for their "cowardly attacks" against their step mother, and said "they reached a new low, even for politics."

Another point of contention between Ted's sons and his widow is the famous Kennedy compound located in Hyannis Port, Mass. Vicki Kennedy donated the home to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in January of 2012, per Ted's wishes, and stipulated that other Kennedy family members who want to use the lawn, pool and or tennis courts would have to get approval, and pay rent, to the non-profit institute representing Kennedy's legacy.

In 2012, during the July 4 holiday, this new regulation of the family compound led to another public feud, when Vicki Kennedy first would not allow her stepsons to use the mansion's swimming pool, and then barred family friend and celebrity Taylor Swift from staying overnight at the iconic spot.

Battenfeld addressed this fight in the Boston Herald and wrote: "Vicki Kennedy is right to resist demands by the family to use the house. Ted Kennedy put in his will that he wanted his historic, rambling home to become a place of learning for the public, especially young people. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean Taylor Swift."

According to US Weekly, Swift was invited to spend the holiday with the Kennedy family by Rory Kennedy, who told the magazine, "she's a great friend of all of ours."

Rory continued, "She's awesome, and we love her."

Even though Swift was unable to stay overnight at the compound, she did meet her future boyfriend, Connor Kennedy, while spending the Fourth with the famous family.

The grammy winner has been open about her fascination -- and borderline obsession -- with America's near-royal political family, and according to the Huffington Post, even said "the only time she was starstruck was meeting Caroline and Ethel Kennedy."

5. Roosevelt In-Law Chooses Party Over Family

When Theodore Roosevelt ran for president as the nominee for the Progressive Party in 1912, he didn't have the support of his entire family.

Nicholas Longworth, husband of Roosevelt's eldest daughter, Alice, and a Republican member of the House of Representatives, didn't back his father-in-law's campaign to regain the presidency.

Instead, Longworth followed party lines, and supported the Republican nominee, President William Howard Taft, in his re-election bid for the White House, proving that party ties are sometimes even stronger than family ties.

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