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. D

    Smart man. Just goes to show that no matter what your party affiliation this election, the smart people are going with Obama.

    October 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. AL+

    smart man, thank you mr.Buckley

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. andy

    another smart republican, who is next? may be carl rove.

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. Mizzy

    Welcome Mr. Buckley...welcome!
    We are pleased to see that you have changed you position based on the facts...not empty rhetoric or 'just because'.

    Obama & Biden are the proven leaders that our country needs right now; based on substance and clear goals. It's time for our nation to begin healing and progressing forward to a fair and prosperous future for ALL of its citizens!

    Obama/Biden '08/'12

    October 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. Bigbubba

    A Buckley willing to cross party lines. Even if his reasons are the best, the spirits of his forebearers must be tossing in their gilt crypts.

    October 10, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Raul Fernandes Sobrinho

    I congratulate Mr. Buckley, at last a no racist Republican. As a foreign observer, I hope there are others like Mr. Buckley.
    The hate and anger we have seen on McCain/Palin crowds these days aren't because Obama "is a socialist" ( I'm sure he isn't) as they have shouted. It is because he is black. They can't imagine a black man as their president. Unlike people all over the world who are praying for Obama's victory, because they know Obama can save the capitalism – on a GLOBAL ECONOMY we have now and will probably have in the future.
    "Terrorist pal"? Give me a break. So, George Clooney, S. Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Oprah, Leo Di Caprio, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, David Lynch, Natalie Portman, Matt Damon, Madonna, Woody Allen, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Eddie Vedder, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Will Smith, Jessica Lange, Kim Basinger, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman and so on... All of them are Obama's pals. Are them terrorists?

    October 10, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Danny

    This is a man that truly puts COUNTRY FIRST.
    God bless you and WELCOME. We await other true patriots that put Country first and reason rationally.


    October 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. SH

    I totally agree with everything quoted!!

    October 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |

    The same tactics by Obama camp has been used against Hillary.
    It is called the final " The Endorsements Stage"... The psychological manipulations through bias media! The emperor has no clothes...

    October 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Ace Hussein Man

    Thank you my brother...! I have to respect a man who thinks about his country before his party...! We welcome you wholeheartedly...

    Thank you..!

    Obama 2008

    October 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Matt

    well, he is definitely putting country first! I'm sure that took a lot of guts, good for him!

    October 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. VAL



    October 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. JO

    I think you, Buckley, have an 'airy-fairy' mindset. What on earth has possessed you to endorse Obama? Too bad 'Mum' and 'Pup' aren't around to set you straight! I do think they would do more than cut off your allowance!

    October 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. Jennifer

    Obama 08!

    October 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Clinton Democrat for Obama

    I don't trust conservatives and am suspicious of this....

    October 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  16. aware

    Poor choice!

    Obama encourages people to see themselves as victims instead of creative problem solvers!

    And, encourages people to put their hand out instead of putting their hand to the task!

    His rhetoric of American reputation being based on how "we treat the least of these" is hypocritical!

    He did not support legislation that would have protected viable babies born after botched abortions while he advocated supporting "the least of these?"

    The obfuscating Obama is not fit to be president of the USA! 😦

    October 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  17. Canadian Observer

    Please say it loud to your colleagues who are still wollowing in the dark about his true identity. If someone with such conservative views like Buckley can see the light even in the darkest of night that has befallen the US, you should be loud and clear.

    October 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. phil s.

    God bless your heart, Mr. Buckley. Thank you for putting into words what alot of us have been feeling about the candidates.

    October 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |

    I second EVERY THINGS Mr Buckley said. McCaine will be worse than Bush, and Obama ( who will increase MY taxes, I make more than 250 K,) potetially will be great leader. I love Honest Jo Biden. I admire Obama for picking a great Vice president over picking some one who just to help him to get in the WH. I think he is genouin person . I am registered republican all my life, voted republican (except for bush second term ) OBAMA/BIDEN HAS MY VOTE

    October 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Herman In LA

    Great job Christopher Buckley the water is just fine on the Obama side...


    October 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. JImmy D

    Couldn't have said it better myself.
    O'Bama O8/12

    October 10, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. catmom

    That says it all. Thank you

    October 10, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. stillhoping

    As a life-long proud liberal Democrat, I nevertheless admired many things about William Buckley. I always knew what he was saying, why he was saying it and sometimes I caught myself in agreement. I learned some vocabulary, too. I don't think, Christopher, that your dad would cut your allowance for your reasoned piece. Thank you for sharing a very meaningful endorsement and for your eloquence. It does seem clear enough what this moment is calling for and I am very hopeful that Senator Obama will rise (and help the rest of us rise) to the daunting occasion.

    October 10, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. M. Bryan

    Your father might agree with you, all things considered.

    October 10, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. King

    Welcome aboard prodigal son, finally the blind fold has been removed and now you can see clearly..this election is obvious. Its brains and sober temperament versus dementia and malice. Go Obama!

    October 10, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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