October 10th, 2008
11:08 PM ET
10 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. Jerry, Illinois`

    Oh, by the way , we now know that James T. Harris ,the man
    in the front row ,at the rally in Wisconsin for Mccain was a
    Conservative radio host.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. Elizlia

    Good for you Christopher, I am a democrat but i can change too if it was the other way around. McCain has really suprised me with his behavior he and his choice of VP. They hve turned this election into a senseless, game this is the most important election ever. There are first time voters involved. We as people of american need to stand together not seperate at a time like this. The way things are going we may all have to move in with each other to stay alive, with the cost of food,gas and job lost.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. former gop

    Ditto for me. All well stated.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. TrueBlue

    Mr. Buckley, well done and well said!

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. Kenneth Burke

    Christopher is so smart and so right. And so respected for allowing himself to change and adapt to the situtation.

    October 10, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Old Guy

    Welcome over from the dark side Christopher. I listened to your dad on television for over 30 years and one thing that was consistent was he loved America.

    The current right wing ideologues of the Republican seem more intent on personal power and wealth to the detriment of America's well being.

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. Michael Ogu,Dortmund Germany

    Mr.Buckley,you are really intelligent and accurate in justifying issues,You are a true son of your father,you rally understands and acknowledges to the best interest of America and the whole wold.Your judgments are sound,not only that also bold enough to say it even publicly.

    Obama '08.

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. TRUTH!!!!

    Hockey and gasoline moms watch out Palin wants you…well she can have you. Obama has this baby wrapped up.
    These are the same LIES that NOEL (and of course J UAN CARLOS, Phantom of the Oprah) has tried for the last 18 months, pretending to act like Democrats and we don’t NEED you and your vote to take BACK our Country. They are PAID bloggers for McCain and camp. Please make sure you read between the lines. The Republicans are paying to make the same type of trickery attempts on a lot of blog sites. From a LIFE long Democrat….WE WANT TO THANK YOU AND WELCOME YOU ABOARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. CMJ

    Its about the future. A far reaching vision for where the country needs to go in THIS century. Obama is about the future, he will bring this country further than McCain will in all the right directions.

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    So, even Christopher Buckley acknowledges that this campaign has made John McCain "inauthentic". What ever happened to the good old phrase "It isn't if you win or lose, it's how you play the game." When this election is over some people are going to have to take a good long look at themselves in the mirror. Let's just all prayer that goodness will prevail...and the good guys will win.

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Katie

    Yikes. I expect this man is going to be paid an angry visit from beyond. Ann Coulter will certainly go nuts over this. Ha ha!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Doug

    Even though I often disagreed with Mr. W. Buckley, I always admired his sharp intellect and witty irony. Obviously you are a worthy heir to your father, Mr. Buckley. Thanks for your honesty.

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. sarah c

    Yet another voice of reason in what is rapidly degenerating in to a frenzied mob mentality. I was just wondering earlier this week what William F. would have to say about these current events.
    With so much at stake how is it possible there is so little genuine discussion of the issues? The rhetoric is unbelievably vicious – the personal attacks are outrageous. Honor. Dignity. Vision. Strength.
    Courage. The qualities we need in a President. The qualities Barack Obama has consistently demonstrated. Shame on John McCain. He is not the man he once was and he has tarnished his reputation beyond repair.

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. Jerry

    Big deal!

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Abram-Maryland

    Thanks for your support!

    October 10, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. For Obama/Biden Ticket

    Yippee for Chris Buckley to endorse Barack Obama! He knows who has plans for the future of America..."that one" who is going to help us get through these extremely stressful times. It is no fun to see yourself and your siblings lose our jobs, full of worries which keep us awake all night and start having asthma attacks because of the severe stress we are going through,how we're going to pay our bills, groceries, and gas for our cars!

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. repub

    yes people this year there could be 20% of repubs voting for obama this year. sometimes you have to unlike mccain put country first. we have to be one nation as it says. mccain is going to lose us seats on the senate because of his stupid a55.

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  18. ready for change

    I completly agree with you Mr. Buckley, VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Greed is not good

    Next up? How about some other Republicans (or former at least) Chuck Hagel and Colin Powell.

    Obama Nation is sweeping across the land. Red states and Republicans are welcome. Plenty of room on the bandwagon...better late than never.

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Any fabre

    Let intelligence rise, that was an excellent change.

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Alex

    See? Even a lifelong conservative has seen the truth. There's hope for all conservatives, after all.

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. paula

    Very commendable, Mr. Buckley, and I salute your honesty and courage in this endorsement. With McCain taking the lowest road to the highest office in the land, he has compromised his character, his judgment, his decency, and integrity. It is heartwarming to see respectable, discerning Republicans (and I've read of and seen on television so many prominent ones like you) beginning to acknowledge that McCain's ambitions have eroded all that he was and used to stand for. He has run the sleaziest campaign in presidential history, and it is sad that this will most likely be how history will remember him. He no longer deserves to be president because throughout his campaign he has hardly proven himself presidential in every sense of the word!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. Richard Neckameyer

    It is actually refreshing to hear such a right-wing conservative has
    actually opened up his eyes and mind, to realize that McCain would only be another continuation of Bush's 8 years of hell he put the American public through.

    October 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. Mercedes

    Oh dear! What are those radical conservatives that attend McCain/Palin rallies going to say about this. All I can say is, thank you very much for noticing that Obama is a great man and he will be a great president. I pray for that and his well being.

    October 10, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. beatrix

    God save us!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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