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. Joe in MN

    Voting for Conservative ideology is not a bad vote...but a vote for McCain is. I feel his sentiment, in that McCain does not represent the light of the Conservative base.

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. Oakland99

    God bless this man. And too his father, with whom I often disagreed with but always respected and, most times, listened to.

    October 10, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    Mr. Buckley you are doing what you feel is in the vest interest of the country. Also, while I think it was a bit late in coming, I must congratulate Senator McCain for his brief display of honor today in his town hall meeting when he defended the fact that Senator Obama is NOT a Muslim but rather he is a decent man but one he has differences with. I wish he had been this way through the entire campaign. It would have caused me to still hold the honor I had for him as an America Hero.

    I am still an Obama supporter but I still have hopes for the soul of Senator McCain.

    October 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  4. David

    thank you Mr. Buckley. You are a smart man. Unlike the ignorant, racist, uninformed idiots that have been speaking at McCains rallies. Just listen to them!!!!! They know nothing about Obama and call him dangerous, Arab????. Really puts you on the spot doesn't it Mr. Magoo. You got yourself into this spot because the same kind of people are saying this trash that are voting for you. Makes you proud doesn't it??? Obama will be the next president of the United States because smart, informed, non racist people are voting for him.

    You are toast.

    October 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. Felly

    Good man, welcome aboard.

    October 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. horace

    It is good news, more people need to wake up. Obama is smart by being calm, Let Mccain KILL his chances by be liar.

    October 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. The Truth

    THE END!

    October 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. Seam, Philly

    This guy has my absolute respect to have the guts to vote for the best candidate, and not stick to the Republican "script"

    October 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. gnomepark

    One of the best descriptions of the 2 candidates I have seen.

    Obama/Biden 08
    Dick Lugar (R) for Secretary of State

    October 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  10. kirk, fl

    we need more people like u to be real and speak the truth, weather you are red or blue , its all about the u.s.a. the fact is obama is the best of the two.

    October 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. tennisguypitt

    I don't know, I think hell HAS frozen over.

    This is big, I mean HUGE! This will only help Barack Obama.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. John McCain

    Amen my friend.

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

    Welcome To The Winning Team!

    October 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. mare

    Whee! So glad to hear this. I'm no conservative, but I love C. Buckley's books. Funny guy, and I'm glad he saw the light.

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. Art Michaelson

    Sarah the baraccuda Palin's speaches are full of CODE words for the ears of hateful bigoted rednecks. Will she still smile and wink and feel so good when one of her crowd takes it upon himself to do OBAMA harm? She is a demagogue in the fashion of Hitler and his fellow JEW haters. Both self professed GOOD CHRISTIANS?

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. Royalty

    I applaud the true conservativists in this country who have stood up for the best interests of this country and supported Barack Obama for president. Being an Independent, I may have supported McCain if he had shown some substance and credible solutions, but he has taken a dangerous turn and is not suited in judgment or temperament, to hold the most important office in the world. His selection of Palin sealed his fate.

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. norex - NY

    I think this is great, Im glad to see him support Obama... that being said I find America's ignorance incredible and I think It should definitely be addressed. Throughout this election I have witnessed the utter stupidity of the some American people for example people who claim "I don't know about Obama, I just don't have enough information about him so that's why I'm supporting McCain". HOW ABOUT YOU LEARN? IT IS 2008 WE HAVE BOOKS, MAGS, AND SOMETHING CALLED THE INTERNET. But then again most of this comes from the "Heart Land" of which I am not surprised. I find it shocking how some of these people revel in PURE IGNORANCE and then have the nerve to criticize people who are collage educated. Now I have nothing against my educated country brethren but seriously those who are IGNORANT enough to believe Obama is a terrorist or any more "Risky" than McCain deserves any malcontent that comes their directions because of their MISINFORMATION!

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Al

    This is a really great gauge of where the election is.

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. johnrj08

    Now, watch the McCain/Palin operatives disown Buckley, just as many have disowned Kathleen Parker. The refuse to learn.

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. A Woman In California For Obama:

    All I can say is WELCOME. You are a sensible man.

    October 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. Larry L.

    It sounds like Mr. Buckley is a very smart man.

    October 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. READY99

    WELCOME!!!!! EVEN REPUBLICANS ARE SICK OF McSAME-PALIN.

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

    Thank you Mr.Buckley for being so honest . I am a democrat but I always respected McCain. I didn't always agree with him but he stood by his guns. However, these latest character attacks are inciting rage and its dangerous. Combine this kind of behavior with a bad economy can have scary results. I am going to hide in my house come election day (other than to vote).

    October 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. Jay

    Common sense prevails, thanks for being an honest open minded person, I wish more people in society were like this.

    October 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. Focus

    If people would focus on the issues this smutt campaigning would not be getting people attention. But this is America and we are a visual society and we are just sheep that will follow the flock over a CLIFF. If you break from the flock must have MAD SHEEP DISEASE!!

    October 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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