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. Brian from Michigan

    welcome aboard,
    It won't be long until OBAMA gets the endorsement of Colin Powell also.

    October 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. S. Thompson

    He brings up a lot of good points re McCain. I do think this campaign has changed him. But in all fairness I can also say the same re Obama. At this point I look at all politicians the same I just hope whoever wins this thing they can honestly aid in FIXING this mess our country is in.

    October 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. john s arizona for obama - it's possible!

    this demonstrates that integrity and intelligence continues in the Buckley line – it seems Gergen, Will and a few others are not willing to lock-step with this growing unamerican hate being seeded by McCain/Palin and other morally disabled republicans.

    NOW! if ANYTHING – God forbid – happens to Barack Obama McCain/Palin and their insane campaign will have blood on their hands – i can't go through another american nightmare. jfk, mlk, rfk and almost reagan – and it may be to late – history may read that it was this madness insighted by John McCain that began not only the second u.s. depression But was the trigger for the second Civil War!!!

    i'm praying Barack Obama is protected and is our next president and i'm having a hard time finding forgiveness for MCain or Palin – forgiving them would be like forgving the devil! But i don't wish any harm to come to either of them – that's the difference between a democrat and republicans – republicans are hateful!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. Ndidi, ogus.

    It takes courage to speak up and thats what makes a MAN.
    Call it as you see it. We all love this Country. Senator McCaine Is no longer the person he was. He is now more Erratic and so negative. Simply put out of touch. We thank him for his service to the nation. But that's not a reason to elect him president.

    October 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. joseph

    well this is a proud moment in U.S history when finally i hear someone in politics speak from the heart and not the party, whether i disagree with buckley or not i respect his choice and it has given me a thought of looking more into obama myself

    October 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Crystal/ Texas

    Great endorsement. I hope this is the kind of realization that other reasonable Republicans are coming to.

    October 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Mike, Penn

    Wow, I agree. I voted for Bush but I dont believe in party loyalty. Am voting democrat this time and if Obama/Biden dont turn things around then I'll give the republicans a chance, but right now sorry Mcain you and the republicans dont deserve a chance.

    Obama 08

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. California Gold

    See Senator McCain–no one likes a drama queen, especially when you continue with appalling behavior, mean mouthed and offensive to all political persuasions.

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. PooDog

    If McCain's first wife couldn't trust him (multiple times), why should the American people trust him? Dishonesty (and infidelity) is a character flaw.

    And his campaign bringing up Obama's past drug use as a teen? How about Cindy McCain's theft and drug use as a mother? Or did John's rage drive her to it?

    Thank you Mr. Buckley.

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

    Congratulations Mr. Buckley!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. L. MIAMI, FLORIDA

    THANK YOU MR. BUCKLEY

    YOU ROCK !

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. Andrew

    He is right what happenned to the McCain of 2000
    He has become a shadow of himself,
    His obvious vile campaign tactics must be playing with his conscience.
    'His recent attack of Michelle was just so over the top, and his guilt by 6 degrees of seperation thing and lack of ideas on the economy are really making it very difficult for him.
    He should have picked lieberman or pawlenty as his vp,
    All rational supporters of Mccain are leaving him

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Dwight

    He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for," Buckley wrote.

    No, he is a train wreck in waiting. It is absolutely ridiculous to elect a Government increasing/Tax Raising liberal during an economic slowdown. That will wreck our already damaged economy.

    Also, let's have an independent counsel look into the Democrats in Congress who refused to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Mel in GA

    MCCAIN HAS LOSS HIS HONOR AND HAS WARPED INTO SOMEONE UNRECOGNIZABLE…

    Kudos Mr. B

    October 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. RJ Show me state

    common sense will start affecting the election. and alot of upset gop voters will abandon mc cain and his cohorts like davis. by the time nov 4 gets here. it will be clear that mc cain. will have distroyed his reputation and the respect of his party.

    October 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. Zaga

    hello

    October 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Dave G

    Great news. Before this I thought that people on the right were totally blind to what's going on. This gives one independent voter some hope...

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

    I am sure you parents would understand

    October 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. Shakeelm

    How refreshing. At last a true American, true to his convictions. For once, a true patriot. But, where are the other voices of reason.

    Where are the voices of great American such as Mr. Hatch, Ms. Snowe, Ms. Hutchison, Ms. Collins, Mr. Baker, Mr. Romney and others. "Country First" is a Republican slogan that can no longer remain just a slogan, but must be a call to action to these highly respectable Republican leadership.

    At a time when America's future depends on our ability to come together as a nation, Ms.Palin's jingoistic stoking of racial intolerance, hate filled divisiveness and showing total disdain for the very value that made us great- that is our tolerance of our diversity can only be viewed just as disgusting as the deafening silence of the Republican leadership.

    October 10, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Allen

    Here's hoping that Mr. Buckley is the first of many converts pre-election. Good day all!

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. John mKKain and he has no message

    if John McCain steps down do to "health reasons" and Palin steps down in light of the trooper gate investigation, i think we would all understand and even respect them both

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. Greg285

    Great move Mr. Buckley! It's apparent that you care more about this Great Nation than you do about a Political party. This election is about whom is BEST to lead us out of this economical disaster that we are currently in….

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. vince

    Even smart conservatives are switching to Obama.
    McCain used to be an honorable man, but I believe the republican strategists have taken over his campaign and pushed it into an extremely negative light.

    McCain needs to man up and switch the tone of his campaign. Regardless of who takes the white house, we need to be unified instead of polarized. Obama has done better in this, but even he needs to make sure to run a positive campaign from here on out.

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. even tempered

    Thank you Mr. Buckley for having the courage to support Senator Obama. It's easy for others to stoop to personal attacks but you have chosen to let reason be your guide. The Democratic Party welcomes all Republicans to give us a try. The last 8 years certainly haven't worked, so come and join us!

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. THE 2008 REPTILIAN TICKET IS MCKEATING5 WHO TOOK 112K IN OFFICE AND AN ALASKAN GOV. THAT ABUSES THE POWER OF OFFICE. DOES AMERICA REALLY NEED TWO MORE CROOKED REPTILES IN THE HIGHEST OFFICES IN THE LAND? YOU DECIDE!

    I am an Obama supporter, but I do believe in a strong 2 party governing system, it is just too bad it took so long for the adults to stand up to the reptilians in charge of the party. The same can be said for McCrypt, POSSIBLY, when he actually defended Obama at the KKK rally. I will have to see if McCain has actually rediscovered his integrity or was this just another senior moment.

    I hope it is not too late.

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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