October 10th, 2008
11:08 PM ET
10 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. Kyle Wise

    I wish everyone would see it as simple as buckley.... you have 2 canidates running for office... take away the race and what do you have...one canidate is 10 x's more qualified...if Obama was white it would be a landslide... LET THE MAN SHINE!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. Bitter Allen Hussein, Visalia CA

    Thank you Mr. Buckley!

    October 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Chris

    Thank you Mr. Buckley. Welcome to the club of honesty and integrity.

    Democrats 08!!

    October 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Christian S. - Hampton, VA

    This may be, out of all the comments I have seen and heard from people of all parties, the most sincere one of all. Buckley's comment really summed up well what Barack Obama's run for the White inevitably should mean for not just all of us as Americans but all of us as citizens of the world. Obama's run is bigger than race, it's bigger than party, it's bigger than gender and yes, bigger than the United States.

    Can any of us so readily dismiss the hope that his messages have conveyed around the globe? He has brought credibility back to our nation and we have seen in a global response a planet ready to follow his lead to help make a better vision for the future of us all [and he is not even President yet]. How special must he be to be able to do so much for so many with just his message of HOPE? In him I can see the coming of peace talks that take on a whole new meaning in the middle east and even communist regimes like N. Korea and China might soon begin to see the light. I see nations of the world ready to follow his lead to bring to justice Osama bin Laden, I see in him a United States that is finally ready to follow his lead in truly living up to what the US Constitution outlines, guaranteeing equality and justice for all those who call themselves Americans regardless of any of our outward differences. We can and will be the ultimate example to the world with him as our nations leader.

    For those of us who have yet to put aside whatever ill content you harbor towards Sen. Obama, it's time to realize what is truly at stake as Mr. Buckley has done.

    October 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Tony

    An intellegent decision by an intellegent Man !!--

    October 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. David

    I think that the Republican ship is sinking for this election. Its clear following this endorsement that perhaps McCain is no longer that defendable to even the people of his party. I don't know of any silver lining that McCain (or the people that are bound to trash Buckley for jumping ship) could take from this except 2012 is only 4 years away.

    October 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. john oj

    mcbush is toast!!!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Sarah

    i can't f' beleive that...

    October 10, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Jessica Joana Smith

    Good Job Buckley; you do understand the reality, and many out there also understand the crisis that we are facing. I am sure that many independent voters will vote for senator OBAMA...



    Jessica Joana Smith.....

    October 10, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. Victorola, Ontario

    What America needs is for her poeple to vote according to their conscience, and leave aside the party dichotomy that doesn't deal with the present or future challenges the nation is or will be facing. I strongly beleive America has lost her premiership and leadership. The country needs to start afresh in many respects. Buckley, I guess decided to be led by his conscience.....

    October 10, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. gwt301

    Now let's see the right-wing commentariat attack one of their own. You can't get any more conservative than the son of William F. Buckley, the father of modern day conservatism. He is endorsing Obama. Wake up guys.

    October 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. jason

    The end is nigh

    October 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    More Bi-Partism for Sen. Obama.

    The McCain / Palin ticket shows no respect or honor in the campaign. To use Cindy McCains words The Nastiest Campaign riddled with lies and misleading fear mongering.

    P.S Don't forget John McCain was not born on American Soil he was born tha an American citizen on forgein soil

    October 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Bob

    Christopher, thank you for having the courage of your convictions and the willingness to really put America first. There are tens of millions of people for whom you have spoken. Again thank you for your courage.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Dan in CHI

    Thank you, amoeba like all powerful entity, for proving that there is a conscience somewhere amongst right wing republicans.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Dave in Illinois

    Chris Buckley's endorsement isn't worth very much. This is the biggest public spotlight he's had since his dad died. Now there was a conservative who's opinion would count.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. mccain's affirmative action pick

    let the floodgates open...this is what i've been anticipating. rational minded conservatives will do the same thing that many democratic superdelegates did as they saw hillary's desperation turn to race-baiting hate-filled rhetoric. they will desert mccain and endorse obama to help restore the growing breach they see mccain creating.

    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. Amazed

    Wow, I am lost for words lol! Well come on down Buckley there's room for you!


    October 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. republicans hate america

    It never to late to repent. Welcome Buckley to the right side of history

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. San

    I think it is clear that McCain is doomed for failure.

    The thing is we democrats and everyone who has half a brain we have to show up and vote!!!!

    We can't just sit it out, we have to make sure we are heard!
    So please VOTE no matter what show up please! Don't sit around and think my vote doesn't matter it does!

    October 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  21. Michelle

    About time Republicans start to think!

    October 10, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. gin

    All of your "fact checks" turn out to favor Obama. LOL Is CNN biased? Fact Check: Obviously

    October 10, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  23. Pegabo

    Thank u Mr. Buckley,u got it be blessed because u understand the reality and i give u a credit for that. May be your children are backinf Obama too, it's looks a phenomenon for many parents who follow their children inspired by Obama!!!
    Again thank u...


    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. Jodi K

    yet another republican seeing sense. Hopefully more will come around.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  25. Travis (Houston)

    If this does not signal the end; I dont know what will

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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