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. willowood

    Please be sure to make your comments over and over again. Your voice is clear and focused. These last minute scare tactics by the McCain/Palin ticket has so saddened me, it is difficult to realize they would play to such hatred and strife in this country. Thank you and your father and country are thanking you too...

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. VOTE CHANGE.. GO OBAMA 08

    Thank you....

    GO VOTE EARLY......

    OBAMA 2008

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Philip Wander

    Not all conservatives, indeed not many at all, were or are neo-conservatives. Not all Republicans were proud of the way Karl Rove ran elections, driving wedges between various groups and wooden stakes into the hearts of rival candidates. When one is committed to preserving what has been and still is truly important, as with the rule of law for example, then many of us–left, right, and center– are conservationists.

    Change is inevitable. We are capable of making some changes ourselves. But some change is good, and some change is not so good, even bad. We can as individuals and, recalling our founding documents, as a people debate the merits of changing and not changing our ways of thinking, talking, and doing business. Though I stand far to the left of Mr. Buckley and the National Review, it seems to me that he has done us all a service. He reminds us that personal integrity is not a talking point. It is the basis on which one evaluates ideas, critiques ideologies, and questions courses of action.
    And, when the times and one's values call for it, change one's views, even during the course of a fierce political campaign.

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. Obama in the white house

    I am sure more people will come out openly supporting Obama, who has shown us that he has it in to be the next president........I think its high time that people come out openly and admit that he is the best in the race and you cannot ignore it...........i am eager to see who else is in the list of conservative people in support for obama............

    Go Obama/biden 08/12

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Janet

    If the voters would look at this election without malice in their hearts, a lot of other Conservatives, Independents, Republicans would be voting for Obama also.

    October 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    Wow, some one can see the light... I used to like McCain, but he now scares me, the day he chose Palin is the day I choose Obama.

    Is she for real? I have never been so scared to have a soccer or hockey mom in the white house......
    I honestly think I would move, if god forbid, she became the leader of the most powerful country in the world and I voted for Bush the first time around....

    October 10, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Mccain/Palin's rallies are downright scary

    He hit the nail right on the head! Point perfect, krystal perfect, couldn't have said it better!

    October 10, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Gina Paul, Detroit Michgan

    Go! Buckley! You've called it like you see it and many of my republican friends are saying the exact same thing! Obama for President!

    October 10, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. CJLas Vega

    WOW

    October 10, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. Commonwealth

    Oh Mr. Buckley..THANK YOU!

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Amen! This is a man who kept his eyes and ears open and made a very hard decision that he felt was good for the nation and not for a party.

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. Daniel - GA

    Even republicans are coming to their senses.

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. aliou FL John Mckeating five

    Many republicans around my area are also saying the same thing: McCain has been refurbished by the Karl Rove artists. And the new Mc is bitter to the taste, ugly at sight, and painful like a torn in your ... ss

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. Terrell

    Finally a republican that can Take off his partisan hat and tell the truth. John is Desperate, Palin is Dumb. I think she's actually setting women back.

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Tina Dixon

    Wonder will Anderson Cooper or Lou Dobbs commentate about this...

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Sarah

    Yes,
    This is great strait talk from smart man...
    This is equal to the fall of stock market

    No to negative ads...Yes to truth

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Chris Durham North Carolina

    Just when I thought Repubs would just vote blindly because of partisianship...a breath of fresh air!!

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Gerry

    So where is Collin Powell, has the cat ( Bush) got his tongue?

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. Robert

    Mr. Buckley,
    I am so pleased to read this article. You are an example of being a citizen first than a partisan person.
    The best this for this country is to elect someone who can represent the people here in the house and also with the rest of the world.
    Good for you. I believe you mom and dad most be proud of you whereever you are for taking that step.

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Avenue A

    Hey, Mr. Buckley! I am voting for Democrat too for the first time in my life!
    God Bless Senator Barack Obama and God Bless America!

    October 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. JJ in TX

    From one conservative to another, I have to say I completely agree! I'm casting my vote for Obama, too.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Jennifer - American in Canada

    McCain is Paling into Oblivion!

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. ben

    Very well put Mr. Buckley. You are being honest as far as I can see and I agree with you.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. jelow

    Wow. This is a dissapointing blow to McCain's campaign and yet another sign of the wave beginning to crash.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Jan in the 'live free or die' state

    Wow, that's enlightening. He's not the first Republican to realize the McCain-Palin ticket is a huge loser.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35