Heard on the Hill: Six Degrees of Tom Rooney

Posted January 8, 2012 at 9:27am

If you live in Washington, D.C., long enough, it feels like you are just one degree of separation from everyone else in all of America. That goes double if you know Rep. Tom Rooney.

The Florida Republican is related to, um, maybe everyone on the Eastern Seaboard, or at least most everyone involved in the National Football League. Rooney’s grandfather is the late Art Rooney Sr., founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers. His uncle is Dan Rooney, the owner of the Steelers and ambassador to Ireland.

He is also related to the late Wellington Mara, former co-owner of the New York Giants and John Mara, the current co-owner. Rooney also claims actresses Rooney Mara, the newest “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and “American Horror Story” star Kate Mara (sisters) as his cousins.

So, is he particularly close to the newest Lisbeth Salander?

Doesn’t really sound like it. But spokesman Michael Mahaffey tells us Rooney is very close with the Mara sisters’ mother, Kathleen.

What does the Congressman think of the latest film version of the best-selling novels by Stieg Larsson?

“It’s ‘awesome.’”