October 10th, 2008
11:08 PM ET
6 years ago

A Buckley endorses Obama

Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, is backing Obama.
Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, is backing Obama.

(CNN) - No, hell has not frozen over, but a Buckley is backing a Democrat for president.

Christopher Buckley, the son of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, said Friday he's decided to back Barack Obama's White House bid, the first time in his life he will vote Democrat.

“It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup [sic] are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance," Buckley, a columnist for the conservative National Review, wrote on the Web site The Daily Beast Friday.

Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator's conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.

"This campaign has changed John McCain," Buckley wrote. "It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget 'by the end of my first term.' Who, really, believes that?

"Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis," Buckley added. "His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"

But Buckley made clear he's not just voting against McCain, praising Obama for his "first-class temperament and first-class intellect."

"Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy 'We are the people we have been waiting for' silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for," Buckley wrote.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (873 Responses)
  1. Sam

    Welcome home, Sir!

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. CLYSLY DESALES

    Next in line to endorse Barack Obama....Rush Limbaugh.

    Yes We Can!

    Go Barack and Roll!

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. chris

    Wow, the beginning of the end for the McCain ticket. Nice to see someone speak real about this race and the issues confronting ALL Americans. Once of the reasons this country is so great and has a long and bright future ahead of it.

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Rodger

    Many of the smartest and brightest Conservatives have been in print about the outrageous conduct of this Republican candidate. His judgement about Sarah Palin was first thought to be wise, but when the facts came out about her and she began to be interviewed. He has tried to take both sides of every position....making a fool out of himself. Now is is down to lies and smears, something he pledged not to do after his 2000 campaign. I miss the old mavrerick MCCain.
    Today we are left with a bitter Rove type campaign. With the economic issues of today, the American people want and are due more!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. Daniel

    Airy-Fairy?

    Doesn't

    "He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for"

    Sound alot like,

    "We are the people we have been waiting for"

    Either way, welcome to the winning party Sir. We look forward to pulling up our sleaves with you and working towards restoring the American promise back to our people.

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. thank you!

    This is a great day. I know that many people see that Obama is a great leader. I have complete confidence that this will be a landslide election. We are waiting to celebrate the victory!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Angela

    Wow!!! How times have changed. I never, in my lifetime, thought I hear of a Buckley voting democratic. I must however, admit Mr. Buckley clearly and concisley lays out his argument on behalf of Mr. Obama. Sen. McCain has changed-and not for the better. He has become petty, duplicitous and above all willing to win at all costs, forgetting that should he win, he will then have to govern a people who think him inadequate at best and monster at worst. Lest he forget the election of 2000, Mr. McCain should attempt to remain honorable in his dealings. Mr. Obama is his adversary, not his enemy!!

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. sandy

    Wow! Nuff said.

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. Sarah- ARIZONA

    Welcome Mr. Buckley,

    Please go out and get more conservitives to vote for OBAMA/BIDEN.

    Thank you =)

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  10. Jeff, Texas

    I'm also a republican.. who will vote democratic for the first time!!

    Republicans for Obama!

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Nick

    When you really think about it, there's simply no comparison between these two candidates. Any person with half a brain can see that Barack is clearly the superior candidate.

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Tolu, in Minneapolis

    Wow!

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. Cecilia

    Welcome!!

    Obama & Biden for 2008!!

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. The Lady

    Welcome aboard.

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  15. Sherry for Obama

    Buckley is being honest and realistic
    He knows that McCain is the wrong person for president.....at least he has the gumption to admit that unlike all those conservatives who will only vote within their party lines.
    And true enough many republicans that I know are doing the same.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Brock Landers

    wow. i just dont believe it. i wonder if old man buckley would have agreed with his son. then again, when the republicans are acting the way you thought democrats would, by socializing the banking system, i guess its time to re-examine your position. good for him!

    will National Review readers follow suit or cancel their subscriptions?

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. charzie NY

    thank you Mr. Buckley and may others now follow your logic if they have been still on the fence.

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. SAGG

    WHO-HA!! This knocks my socks off!! It's all coming together for Obama....

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. ohio

    finally people realize MCcain is a fraud all his life

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. a well educated woman

    another smart man steps forward to denounce the cow manure coming out of the Rebup ticket. Thank you Buckley.

    October 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Wake up America

    Lovely....BARACK THE VOTE 08

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. FinalNail

    I cant believe there is some sanity is left in conservatives. I thought everyone of them was like that lunatic who was "angry...real angry" in McShame rally.

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. Esmeralda

    Buckley, thank you for your candor and being a man to stand up for whatever believe you have. I respect you for that.

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. j

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    I think McCain represents the past, Obama represents the future. The future can be unknown and at times scary. The best thing to do is embrace the change and go with it.

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. hope

    wowwwwwww!!!!!!!!!
    obama/Biden!

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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