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. mangubs

    floor crossing? hahaha. it gets better everyday

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. JImmy in California

    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 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Think about it, Obama said in one of his books. When the plitical dust settles I'll still stand by my musslem brothers.

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Dom M. DeFazio

    Welcome aboard...gotta feeling these endorsements are gonna keep coming. You can't hide from the truth.

    The domino effect of economic collapse has begun: The manifestation of the failed economic philosophy of Ronald Regan known as 'Trickle Down or Regonomics' has reared it's ugly head. We the people are but powerless and the high and mighty can no longer take our crumbs to the bank. Game Over. The majority of us haven't money to spend or any more credit to max out. The root of our problem isn't in the loopholes, payoffs, reckless spending etc, those are results. It LIES in the entire logic itself that by somehow giving a rich guy money it somehow benefits you. The American Dream was hung out to dry with credit card close pins.

    The money never trickled down! The majority of Americans have none to spend. Most small town 'Main Streets' look more like 'Empty Street' to me. Eat that Rush Limbaugh.

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  5. Linda

    As if this guy and his wishy washiness matters. Or is he really upset that he is the Reformer and he doesn't want a balanced budget?

    Please.

    Obviously he hasn't been paying attention to Obama LOL

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Grant

    I am very glad to find I am not the only Republican feeling this way and voting for Obama! I hope the rest of the independent minded (not blind sheep) Republicans feel the same.

    October 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. aware

    Right! It is never to late for all of us join hands and say, "enough is enough!" We will vote for McCain/Palin 08! They are America's only hope in this election!

    I am a former democrat and Hillary supporter who would have voted for the experienced, moderate Hillary, but never the radical left-wing Obama!

    The radical far left-wing would be even worse than the far right! Don't take my word for it! Check history!

    October 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. aware

    Right! It is never to late for all of us join hands and say, "enough is enough!" We will vote for McCain/Palin 08! They are America's only hope in this election! :)

    I am a former democrat and Hillary supporter who would have voted for the experienced, moderate Hillary, but never the radical left-wing Obama!

    The radical far left-wing would be even worse than the far right! Don't take my word for it! Check history!

    October 10, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. Denise

    It's good to know that not ALL republicans are morons.
    :)

    October 10, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Canadian neighbour

    The miraculous tide of Obama continues. The world may yet come to believe in the American dream again!

    October 10, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Wes

    Obama knows how to handle terrorist; he's been friends with two of them for years.

    McCain/Palin '08

    October 10, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Rob

    Smart man! More of you are welome to come on over. It's OK. Really, it is! We'll be nice to you. We won't say I told you so. Seriously folks.

    October 10, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. Mike in Ohio

    If folks can get past all the smear-tactic rhetoric and focus on what is really important, you can reach some logical conclusions in this election, regardless of your party stripes. Here is someone with the conservative credentials and the ability to employ objectivity and critical thinking. Mr. Buckley has made the right choice.

    October 10, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. Mo

    This indeed adds to my faith in the goodness in all Americans. Not to be taken out of context, I have enormous faith in my fellow Americans, but it is an overwhelming feeling knowing that there are people out there that also want an end to the mad world that we have been forced into, regardless of party affiliations.
    Christopher Buckley is a true American. God bless America.

    October 10, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. KW, Vail AZ

    Finally, a Republican capable of thinking for himself and not just reciting the daily GOP talking points.

    October 10, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Kathryn

    It's too bad that it's taking a Republican backlash (like Buckley) and plummeting polls to get McCain to step up. I guess, since he's going to lose, he may as well do the right thing.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/10/mccain.crowd/index.html

    October 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. Muz

    I don't know who this guy is but glad to have you on board!
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. Jesus Praising, Freedom Loving American Patriot

    Welcome to planet Earth.

    October 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. Robert M Kraus Sr

    Christopher Buckley has an engaging smile,but he has no qualification for making great pronouncements on current affairs. I suspect that mum and pup brought him up to think that he has. But, really, who cares what he has to say about anything.

    October 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. I AM a TRUE CONSERVATIVE

    As a True Conservatve for the past 27 years, I have to say there is NO way you can vote for Barack Obama... NO WAY!!!

    But there is no way you can vote for McCain... he showed poor judgement in picking Palin. I tired my best to ignore the couric interview and i blamed it on the gotcha questions. I tried hard, but when my 4 yr old daugther asked me why does she look dumb? i laughed out loud. I mean cmon people,, lets get serious Palin is a horrible pick for VP

    She is divisive, racist, power hungry, and most importantly unintelligent...

    I don't know if I could vote for a Democrat,, I'm anti Gay, Anti Wealth Distribuition, and Anti Tax on the Rich...

    But MCcain has crossed the line in these rallies, especially Palin. My wife was as the Rally in Sarasota and she told me that people were screaming racist chants at black journalists, and she heard 2 different people say, " If Obama wins I'm gonna take him out" I am truly worried for his safety and his wife and kids...

    Please Pray for Obama and his family, the anger is UNBELIEVABLE...

    October 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Robert

    It's time for all of us to unite to bunker down and save our country. There are a million and one bad things I can say about Obama, but I feel like McCain's on-the-defensive tactics will further polarize us all. Understand, McCain supporters, that this is not about the next four years or even the next decade. This is the all-in, everything on the line, bet of our lives. Obama could blow it, but he's the only one worth taking the risk on in my opinion. We're all neighbors. We're all brothers. We're all sisters. We need to unite like our founding fathers did and work on this problem together. I can only hope...

    October 10, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. litzi

    Obviously Mr. Buckley is a smart individual and has seen the true nature of the McBush-Caribou Barbie platform! Hopefully many more Conservatives will follow suit and vote Obama-Biden.

    October 10, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. allen 101

    chris buckley is havign to do what many sane consertives are doing in private Noooo!! not neccesary endorsing obama althoug taht would be welcome but more importantly taking a honest out of the box look at what the republican party has become under bush and potentially mccain and what they see worries them and they are tring to save it before it completely destoryed this isn't the reagan or party of lincoln any more and you are starting to see alot of prominent conservitives stand up for the party they love im a proud blue dog dem for obama but i like to see peopel stand up for what is right despite ideology

    October 10, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. Ron Paul, USA

    This country deserves better than the red/blue mudslinging that overwhelms our leadership. I think that is what happened to John McCain – a perfectly good main brought to ruin by political handlers. And let it be clear - this probably would have been Obama as well, if polls were reversed. God help us all.

    October 10, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  25. Zigler

    Great!

    Go Obama!

    October 10, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
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