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. BC

    Welcome aboard Mr. Buckley! Here you'll find many other GOP members who are sickened by the vicious filth, hypocritical lies, and violent meanness of the McCain/Palin campaign. After all of this is over and McCain has lost this election by a landslide, maybe you and other decent minded Republicans can reclaim the GOP.

    October 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Nancy

    Wonderful news.

    October 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. colby

    How many more conservatives are going to distance themselves from Mc Cain's frighteningly ugly and divisive campaign? In another 90-degree turn, Mc Cain tried to separate himself from his own campaign today, apparently forgetting that his VP choice and his wife spent yesterday trashing Obama and stirring the uber-right into a feeding frenzy. Looks like the crew's jumping ship, John.

    October 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Joanna, CA

    THANK YOU!!! (a conservative voice a reason; can I get an AMEN!!!???)

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. pahusker

    Buckley is another Ivory tower intellectual who wants to go to cocktail parties and hob-nob with Obamaphiles. A real conservative cannot possibly want Obama to win as he lies at the left extreme of the democratic party. It 's just so "in" to be for Obama. This election is really about whether you feel that you need government to hold your hand thru life or whether you have the guts and intellect to do it on your own. American's need to stop living above their means, take responsibilty for their finances, their family, and their health and stop looking for the easy life thru government handouts, lottery tickets and lawsuits.

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. Cynthia; Bham

    I agree with Buckley – McCain is totally different from what he once was. It is scary the way things have started to turn out due to the kinds of things that he and Palin are putting out there.

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Dexter Washington

    Where is the rest of the conservative who is going to vote for Obama.
    Come out the closet please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Even conservatives are starting to see the picture. Obama is the future, McCain is just more of the same.

    Obama/Biden to the White House

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary' s Comment is:

    I think Mr. Buckley shares what alot of us think about Sen. Obama, he
    is grounded and steady, firm but kind, and in tune with what is going
    on in the World. We need Sen Obama and Sen Biden more than ever
    before as this country in in big trouble and the World needs repair as
    well, we need a steady hand at this time. Welcome to the Obama
    family Mr. Buckley, you have made the best choice.

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. DIZIZI31

    What A Man!! Your parents would be proud for doing what is right

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. S. Boatman

    Welcome To The Winning Team Buckley! Tell All Of Your Friends To Join, Volunteer And Donate!

    October 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. McNeo

    Obama has a vision. Simple.

    October 10, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. jane in Columbus,ks

    It is certainly a telling state of affairs when you even have conservatives endorsing Obama and slamming Mcshame.

    October 10, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. MEQ

    THANK YOU BUCKLEY FOR YOUR BRAVE AND HONEST SUPPORT, HOPEFULLY MORE WILL FOLLOW YOU AND WE CAN START REBUILDING THE REAL AMERICAN VALUE.

    That One/ Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. Michael Farrah

    Mr. Buckley has been very objective and has acted wisely. There are some people who are emotional, biased and would never change! But Mr. Buckley's open mindedness has simply won my admiration for him.

    October 10, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Brian NYC

    I'm loving Chris Buckley right now.. Here is a man that is totally right wing.. He kept it real in his quote.. Obama is rolling right now and the red elephant is running right now destroying everything in its path.

    October 10, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. kanabama minnesota

    Moments like these, some people wait for ever. its never to late for all the conservatives to join hands and say enough is enough and join Obama aboard.

    October 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. Murry

    Thank you, Mr. Buckley. Welcome to the Obama side! Please persuade more of our friends to cross over.
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. ruty

    This is my first time to vote for a Democrat, also. I am 76 years young –always voted Republican. I can't wait for Nov. 4 to arrive so I can vote for Obama. John McCain is a mean, grouchy old grandpa who has no business being our president. In fact he has no business being a senator. He feels entitled, is out of touch and a hipocrit. Only yesterday he was damming Obanma-today he defended him. I think he has dementia.

    October 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. Jezerie Blango

    See people time to wake up and see that McCain is not the same. He has fell off. Lets work as one America and pick Obama. We need to get someone in there who has been his true self the whole way through. Wake up America......................... The world wants it and so do some strong conservative. We are one people and one nation. Lets vote that way in Nov.4 for Obama.......

    October 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. Sara

    The tide is beginning to turn! Obama 2008

    October 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. Dealt

    He's given people all over the world hope in America and that is a mighty powerful gift. I think he'll fulfill that potential. He's intelligent, poised, calm, listens to others and is not afraid of new ideas.

    October 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  23. Moe, NY

    YESSSSS...and another Republican/Conservative sees the light!

    October 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. Hopeful

    Good move. Hopefully other smart Republicans will follow your lead...

    October 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. Johanna

    I'm glad to see that there are still people who use their common sense. I thought before campaigns started that McCain and Obama had equal changes to be elected. I've come to realize my idea of McCain was completely wrong. I'm glad he has come and shown what kind of man he is.

    Obama has proved to be a real leader, he really seems to care. I agree, there is lots of potential him to be a great president.

    October 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
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