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. FactCheck

    I think in this economic climate, it's better to go with the safe choice than some radical, ill prepared candidate. Much to the chagrin of Repubs, Obama is looking more and more like the safe candidate and McCain is looking like a real risk.

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

    very cool.

    October 10, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Jonathan, PA

    Now THAT'S putting your Country First.

    Obama 08.

    October 10, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. Carl Justus

    I can hardly believe that a Buckley is going to back Obama. I can understand why, but then I cannot understand why others do not see the very things that Buckley is talking about and especially McCain's campaign officials. They must be on some kind of dope or they have lost their minds and are not giving McCain some solid advice.
    I use to vote for the man who I thought would make the best president or whatever he or she was running for, the one who would be more in control of the situation that would come before them. But then we had George W. Bush and after that I would not vote for a republican if he or she was my brother or sister. It seems the party gives them some kind of food or additive that takes away all common sense.

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

    It's good to see independent thinkers. Vote Obama, vote McCain, as long as you are voting on your own and not being told how to vote, I will respect your choice. That being said, its becoming increasingly difficult to condone McCain's actions. I feel like if I vote for him, I accept his current behavior, which I defiantly do not.

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

    Who cares about what this guy thinks. Of course, my comment won't get posted because it is pro McCain. You guys have sensored out all of my comments because you only put on all of the pro Obama comments on your site. Everyone I know is pro McCain. We cannot understand why any intelligent person would vote for Obama. My contacts come from all cross sections of the population and I am in a swing state. Obama is unproven, untested and inexperienced. Research him on the internet. Past history of drug use, friends with terrorists against our country and radicals. You wouldn't hire him at your company. His campaign has given $800,000 to Acorn accused of voter fraud which may interfere with our election process. Everyone's vote in important. Use it wisely. Protect our country with the ONLY choice for President- John McCain.

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    McCain should be ashamed of himself for stoking ignorance, fear, and hate among any already hate-filled conservative electorate!

    I have decided to denounce my lifelong affiliation with the Republican Party. They do not represent my ethics or values for America. I am not a Dem, but my vote will be casted for OBAMA-BIDEN!

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Bravado in Boston

    The historical moment is calling for Unity. The UNITED STATES of America....not just bush's 'america'.

    It is time we all Unite, for each citizen, for our children and for our COUNTRY!

    UNITED STATES of AMERICA....that does NOT include divisive, trecherous, traitors of Columbia.

    How nice to read this article.

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. J.L.

    Wow... this is the last thing I'd ever expect...
    Let the cries of "traitor" begin... sadly... and I'm sure it'll be worse when you're a right-winger than folks on the left. They'll be frothing at the mouth I'm sure...

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  10. MBFLA

    Congratulations for allowing logic and reason to rule over party politics! Welcome to the light, Mr Buckley! Many of us prefer the bright candidates over the nasty ones!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. Canadian for America

    Welcome Mr. Buckley. Those Republican meetings are starting to look more like a KKK rally.

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. King P

    More and more of my fellow Republicans are jumping ship. We are not sell outs, but we are the ones who are putting country first. I still admire John McCain, but not as a presidential candidate. I love my country, and I know one day it WILL be back on the right track, and Obama/Biden ticket can get us there.

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. American Conservative

    Brooks, Buckley... It looks like every conservative with a brain and an education is, at the very least, jumping the McCain/Palin ship.... and I bet a lot more than are even willing to admit it will be voting for Obama come November 4th. I don't know if I'm ready for that yet, but I sure can't see voting for McCain any more. Maybe I'll just stay home...

    October 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. Paul

    Finally people are seeing light! Mcsame was a man I used to respect too, but he has changed since Barack clinched nomination.

    October 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. John

    All I can say is that this country is going to get what it deserves by electing someone like Obama. And it's not even all about who Obama is – its the double-standard in our society that makes me sick. And to see (alleged) conservatives like Buckley support him makes me puke. How can you support support someone whose values (and I'll use that word losely when it comes to Obama) are the antithesis of everything you believe? It means you're an idiot and a hypocrit.

    October 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Carl Justus

    I can hardly believe that a Buckley is going to back Obama. I can understand why, but then I cannot understand why others do not see the very things that Buckley is talking about and especially McCain's campaign officials. They must be on some kind of dope or they have lost their minds and are not giving McCain some solid advice.
    I use to vote for the man who I thought would make the best president or whatever he or she was running for, the one who would be more in control of the situation that would come before them. But then we had George W. Bush and after that I would not vote for a republican if he or she was my brother or sister. It seems the party gives them some kind of food or additive that takes away all common sense.

    I have not even sent an email to this site before this one so it cannot be a duplicate. It is my own words and original.

    October 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Charlie in Maine

    I used to respect John McCain 100% and disagree with him 70% of the time. I now disagree 90% but worse than that I have 0%respect. Seeing the way he treats the truth, the public and Barack Obama he seems to be trying to outbush W. That is something I did not expect.

    October 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. Mr Republican

    Buckley should of came out earlier and endorsed Ron Paul. Now he has to choose between 2 liberals and pick the least liberal and erractic.

    October 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Paul

    I am a 21 year old who was raised a conservative yet decides to vote for Obama. This article above clearly and realistically portrays the truth of the situation happening in the Presidential race, and I am elated to find that a Republican can see sense in what is going on to make a big change in his past allegiances.

    October 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. DSW

    Wow – there's too much Red vs Blue going on right now, we need to pull together as a nation.
    Mr. Buckley is showing the true sign of "Country First"!
    SHAME ON YOU MCCAIN
    SHAME ON YOU PALIN
    Dishonest frauds on the highest order – both of you!

    October 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. ron

    what have you been waiting for my friend? its time for people to see the real mcsame.....unveal.................way to go......

    October 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. james

    EVERYONE IS FINALLY STARTING TO SEE THE LIGHT, YES!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    P.S TO ALL YOU MCSAME LOVERS OUT THERE PLEASE STOP THE RAGING AND RIOTING AT THE LAST FEW RALLEYS YOU ALL HAVE LEFT. AFTER ALL WE'VE HAD TO DEAL WITH BUSH THE LAST 8 YRS!!

    October 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. Shane from LB

    Wow, oh wow!

    McCain should really spend the last few weeks of the campaign on a positive note. No more mudslinging!

    October 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Michael

    Well, McBush and Palin have no one to blame but themselves. Of course, they're blame everyone else BUT themselves...and perhaps that's why they're in the very deep hole they keep digging and digging and digging to find a way out of.

    October 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Jeff Brown

    OK you McCain supporters... One of your own is finally telling you the truth about this guy. LISTEN TO HIM!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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