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. Gary

    If you like the current state of the economy brought to you by Barney Frank and company then you'll love Obama's plans for the economy. It was formerly known as the Herbert Hoover plan. You increase taxes and costs for businesses then institute a protectionist trade platform. It's guaranteed to turn an economic recession into a Great Depression. Just Google Herbert Hoover and see for yourself !!

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. rob

    wow, wonder how mccain will bash this one???

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Brian

    Well said Mr Buckley.... it is good to see more and more conservatives realize they do have a choice and not just listening to rhetoric from Hannity, Rove and Co. throw at you.

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. Serious Voter

    WOW!!! I concur.

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. AV

    The bell is sounding on the end of John McCain's campaign.

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. nelson

    I don't know how much this endorsement really means but he's correct in saying John has lost whatever "it" was. Slanderous campaign tactics have rendered him a lowly position of
    "mired in a pig stye" with palin as a stye mate

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. AP

    Thank you, Mr. Buckley. Thank you for your honesty.

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. Bonnie, Las Vegas

    Wow. I'm very surprised. Mr. Buckley's reasons mirror my opinions about Sen. McCain.

    Perhaps his father isn't rolling in his grave about his son's careful decision. It's sad that we won't ever know what Buckley Sr. thought of the McCain campaign, esp. over the last month.

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Jay

    What McCain campaign is up to these days will allow only the most erratic people to be his supporter. All people who can think have already abandoned him.

    God Bless USA.

    October 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Bob PDX

    Wow.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. b. Krause

    Finally, some light.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. OHIOmomforO

    Thank God there are still conservatives left who care about this country.

    What IS going on at the Palin/McCain rallies? "Off with his head"??? Shame on any of my fellow citizens who would promote such ignorance and hatred. Go live somewhere else if you don't like it - that's what you've always said to US when you stole elections and ran our country into the ground.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. Schneider (D) - CA

    Any other Republicans want to join in an honest effort to save our country ??

    All ideologies welcome! Just bring an open mind and a willingness to work together in a common sense approach to restore this country to the greatness it deserves.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. NEVER OBAMA

    All obama is is a good actor and even better liar.
    And you sir, are stupid and blind.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. mdm

    YOU had a responsibility to look beyond the rhetoric floating on the airways before taking such a public position on this important futuristic issue. I'm ashamed of you; and so would your parents be for being so off hand and superficial in your announcement. The conclusion drawn is, we should know better than to expect a 2nd generation public figure to be as wise as his parents.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  16. Joe

    i totally agree with him. I will be voting democratic for the first time also. McCain and Palin are a disgrace to this country.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. reddyice

    Obama definitely knows where he wants to take America. He respects the underlying ethos and ideals upon which this country is founded and prospered on. He genuinely thankful for this nation that provided him the opportunity that took him where he is today.

    McCain lost his respect the moment he started comparing Obama with Britney and Paris Hilton.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. Amy

    Good for Buckley! It's great to see that some Conservatives are able to see that Obama is what is best for the USA in this election! I'm even more proud of Buckley considering he previously defended McCain.

    C'mon other Conservatives – join the Moderates and Liberals in supporting the Obama/Biden ticket!

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. John

    The base is starting to fragment Ouch to the Rep.

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. Bob Stephens

    You better watch out Buckley, McCains people will get you !!!

    October 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. Karen

    Now Cindy, you should be a good housewife and start packing your husband's bags for him to retire to the retirement home. It is clear for all to see, whether democrats or republicans that your husband is really "out of this world" and there's no way in hell, that hell will warm over, even for him! But perhaps he could prove all those pundits wrong, when Palin brings her pastor muthee here to perform his magic on all of you.

    October 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Thank you so much for understanding what our country needs. I too once admired McCain, but see a very different politician in him now. Niether are perfect candidates, but Obama delivers a much clearer, calmer message and is what our country needs at this difficult time in history.

    October 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. sandee in Portland

    Well, if this doesn't say it all, nothing will. An ultra conservative person who writes for an ultra conservative publication voting for a Democrat. When your own party members don't believe in you except the radicals, you are in deep, deep trouble.

    October 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. mrkusn

    Buckley is not alone. I am shocked though. I did not see a man of this stature in the conservative bloc endorsing Obama. Obama has been able to reach across the aisle and reach-not just independents like me-but true conservatives.

    He will pay for it though.

    October 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  25. VA Voter

    Let me guess, you "Party-first, Screw Our Country" hacks: Buckley is now a terrorist now too, right?

    October 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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