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. jake, San Francisco, CA

    I just wonder how many more smart Americans like this man are out there?

    What on Earth was McCain thinking when he chose Barbie Moose for a running mate? How dare McSurge suspend his campaign and the presidential debate to 'do much about nothing' in the financial crisis!

    Next thing up he'll want to suspend election day so he and Moose have more time to throw more dirt! Out with you two!

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Gregory

    OH MY GAWD!!!!

    To all you McCain/Palin supporters guess what just happened???

    HELL HAS FROZEN OVER FOR YOU.

    No more Sean Hannity. No more Rush Limbaugh.

    The mean spirited animal in the conservative wing is about to be slaughtered, grilled, baked and flambayed to the American people.

    We are tired of mean spirited campaigns.

    John McCain is not a senator...not in the definition that our founding fathers envisioned.

    Senators shoudl be honorable and have decorum.

    John McCain is a disgrace to this embodiment of what a U.S. Senator should be.

    That is why Mr. Buckley is voting for Sen. Obama.

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. HAWK, TEXAS

    WELL AT LEAST THE SMART REPUBLICANS ARE WAKING UP TO THE FACT THAT THE MC CAIN. PALIN TICKET IS DEFINATELY NOT WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS. MC CAIN HAS LOST WHAT MENTALITY HE HAD. AND PALIN IS A CHENEY CLONE MAYBE EVEN WORSE. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE RUINED THIS GREAT COUNTRY. I AM A 70 YEAR OLD DISABLED VETERAN THAT HAS SEEN MC CAIN VOTE AGAINST EVERY THING THAT WOULD HELP THE VETERANS. HIS LIES HAVE LEFT HIM WITH NO HONOR. IF YOU CARE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY VOTE DEMOCRAT.

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. Stacy Clarks, TX

    let's go OBAMA!!!

    and seriously, show me any rational swing voter, better yet, rational voter that wants to relive the 60's with the hatred and mean-spirited emotions that Palin is invoking at her campaign rallies, and I'll pay you $100

    we don't need division and hate in this country, we need unity!

    ELECT OBAMA!!

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. OH

    Welcome onboard! We are just regular guys with everyday American needs. Welcome!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. NoMccain

    Ah ha!
    Every conservative is beginning to realize that Mccain = war, and further instability. Welcome aboard Chris... now the rest will follow suit now.

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. TRACY ADAMS

    Finally, a voice of reason from the conservative side – I thought I'd never hear the day!

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. lzh

    wooow

    October 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Leimomi Matunding

    This is good news!

    Juneau Alaska

    October 10, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. brian

    Republicans look like they are finally voting for the man and not just pulling the party line.

    October 10, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Manny

    If McCain keeps screwing up as bad as he is, even GWB himself will end up voting for Obama.

    October 10, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  12. Leimomi Matunding

    This is very good news of Obama.

    Juneau Alaska

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Wow!!! This is great for Obama. I also read the following on Yahoo. This sounds like the McCain I remember. I'm still voting for Obama at this point....but it's nice to hear McCain shooting this stuff down now and taking boo's for it as well. After watching their gatherings it was starting to look like a Klan meeting!

    "If you want a fight, we will fight," McCain said. "But we will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments." When people booed, he cut them off.

    "I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity," he said. "I just mean to say you have to be respectful."

    When a visibly angry McCain supporter in Waukesha, Wis., on Thursday told the candidate "I'm really mad" because of "socialists taking over the country," McCain stoked the sentiment. "I think I got the message," he said. "The gentleman is right." He went on to talk about Democrats in control of Congress.

    On Friday, McCain rejected the bait.

    "I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."

    McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said:

    "No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."

    He had drawn boos with his comment: "I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. jo

    welcome aboard

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. Becky CA

    I am glad more sensible conservatives are seeing the light. Let us do what is right for this country.

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Mike in LA

    As a 64 year old, life long Republican, I cannot agree more. Worse, McCain and Palin are pushing a line of religious and racial hate that has been unseen in modern US politics. He has forgotten that this Country is founded on the ideal that all men are created equal.
    McCain is possessed with winning at any cost, but as Ronald Reagan used to say, he shot himself in the foot along the way by selecting an inept running mate with a base personality and the sophistication of a snail. This bad judgment, along with his half truths, and out right lies has convinced me that I cannot vote for him.

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. Bill in Indy`

    Finally, a smart voice from the right on this. Thank you, Mr. Buckley, for raising your hand for Obama and his true leadership potential.

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. AzVoter

    WOW! This is incredible. A conservative who is not afraid to say that McCain has lost himself in his ambition to win the White House.

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Democrats Rule

    Well as I live and breathe! Another sane Republican comes forth. This really is a "date with destiny" election. God speed President Obama and thank you for your courage Mr. Buckley

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Clay Lehman

    Thank you!

    Clay Lehman
    Kerrville, Tx 78028

    October 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. K.G.

    Beautiful

    October 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. Anto

    Awesome, this thing just gets better & better..... God bless America.
    Vote for "That One 08"
    From Wichita Falls, TX

    October 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. David

    Finally, a vote of competence and intelligence over idealism. Both the left and the right need more of these types of people.

    October 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. New Day

    Nice, I guess

    October 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. mike

    Hear Hear Mr. Buckely, exactly why I changed my support from McCain to Obama.
    I Want the old John McCain back. I do not like the new John McCain and will vote for Obama instead.

    October 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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