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. james

    No more of the "HATE TALK EXPRESS"

    October 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. jm

    way to go,obama/biden 2008

    October 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. NY

    I really hope more conservatives read this.

    October 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Very perceptive and I'm sure what alot of conservatives are thinking. Those who still can, that is.

    October 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. American Abroad

    This is Change...when we stand for what's right for America and put aside the candidates' political affiliations.

    Times They Are a-Changin'

    Obama/Biden '08/'12

    October 10, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. FL Voter

    John McCain – It's over. If Obama loses this election, it would be for pure racism.

    When a true conservative backs your opponent, it's time to give up John. Your innacurate campaign did not work.

    A conservative for Obama.

    October 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Mary

    welcome aboard Christoper.
    I was also a republican and switched to Obama.
    He has a vision for this country that McCain just can't grasp.
    We will be celebrating on Nov 4th.

    October 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Mark from Tennessee

    Wow!!!!!
    Now that says a lot coming from Mr. Buckley.

    October 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. J.D.

    Today, at a townhall meeting, McCain was forced to defend Obama from fanatical questioners. McCain said that Obama was a decent family man. I BEG someone to create a TV ad which starts with Palin ominously asking "who is the real Obama" as she did several days ago and them immediately shows McCain explaining that he is a decent family man, and then the narrator says: "Is John McCain's mavericky running mate getting too mavericky even for John McCain?"

    October 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Ayanna

    Oh my God a smart Republican. They make you? You are like the Beta Max tape. Now if only you can get some of the more intelligent members of your party to think like you. I think this country will be alright...

    October 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Ben Allgood

    The one thing about Bill Buckley, he was never doctrinaire. He was willing to see problems and issues without blinders on. In recent history, the Republicans have talked in code to hide their true agendas. They hide behind doctrine and rhetoric to avoid dealing with the issues that face this country. Buckley never did that. I respected him, though I disagreed with him. It's not surprising that his son sees the the emperor and his heir apparent have no clothes.

    October 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. J Williamson

    Smart man, that Christopher Buckley.

    October 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. Papasan in Arizona

    Mr. Buckley you have wriitten a terific butt kicking here, thank you very much.

    October 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Jay W

    I am glad to see that most notable republicans can get past the political bias to look for potential solutions to the problems we face in America, even if its not a member of the republican party representing it.

    Bay Buchannon, despite all the evidence in front of her, still presses the position that a candidate that has not proven change from the current status that 80% of Americans feel is wrong, is shameful, and in my opinion really unAmerican, because it puts political bias ahead of the peoples need to be effectively represented.

    Because of these kinds of notions, we face the conditions we face today, because of bias, we are in Iraq, because of bias, we are in a economic meltdown, because of bias, the country is divided, because of bias, our support around the world is not what it was, because of bias, the wealth gap is greater then ever before, because of bias, jobs are shipped over seas, because of bias, employers hire illegal employees over Americans, because of bias, cost of medicine is high, because of bias, wages are low, because of bias, we are in this pickle, and when bias is put on a shelf, for real solutions, America will be the beacon it has been since its founding.

    October 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Fed up!

    Welcome aboard Mr. Buckley! Although you might think differently, I think your parents would have been voting for Obama.

    October 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. judgement

    Good point.

    Obama is great if you take out Rev Wright, Rezko, Aiyers, Farrakhan, Odinga from his life.

    Did I miss anyone ?

    October 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Will

    See, everyone loves Obama!

    Go Obama

    October 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. ronoh

    i could not agree more

    October 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. raymond

    may God bless you for ur truth comments. Buckley thank ur star that u findout the truth in time, many re stil blind.

    October 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. hockey mom from hockeytown USA

    big thank you for taking care ohioans ...... westerville ohio

    October 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. sabrina01

    Thank You true people coming together we will unite and have a better America we will not let fear tactics divide us......this is not peace and how can Republicans say that they are Christians.....to be a christian is to be like Chirst..........

    October 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. Mike

    Good! So glad to hear it! Thanks!

    October 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. Carol

    Wow...if McCain can turn off a Buckley, the election really IS over!

    October 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. L in CA

    If people look look past their own ideological blinders and at the issues and the judgments the candidates have made, the choice becomes surprisingly easy. It's getting rid of the blinders that's the hard part.

    October 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. liam

    Kathleen Parker and Buckley have earned some respect with this recent judgement. National Review or National Review Online is not a magazine where I would care to click a page or turn a leaf.

    October 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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