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. jm from sc

    One thing many are overlooking is that the McCain campaign is actually bringing to life that attitude people had back in the 60's when there were signs posted in public places that read, "For whites only." We have gotten beyond that and people are actually getting along. However, when people begin to make remarks about Obama at McCain/Palin rallies and McCain stand there thinking it's cute, we have a problem brewing. McCain tried to calm that attitude today, but everyone knows that it was not real because if that was his position, he would have stopped it the very first time it was stated.

    As an Obama supporter, I can honestly say, Obama makes it clear that certain things do not belong in his campaign.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. Anonymous in CO

    McCain and Palin encourage people to see themselves as victims instead of giving them hope for a better future. McCain and Palin are now inciting rage and hatred amongst fellow Republicans to win the election. What happened to McCain and Palin's conscience, integrity and good Christian moral values!! They just keep making these fanatical attempts to portray Obama as a terrorist and untrustworthy. This has truly gone too far, mob mentality is a very dangerous thing.

    Thank you Mr. Buckley for speaking out and telling it like it is.

    Wake up American and say enough is enough of this hate and stand together for a better America!!!! Vote for Obama in November!

    October 10, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. David

    You accuse Democrats of asking for handouts. Where have you been for the last 3 weeks, under a rock? I believe we handed the good Republican supporting financial world a trillion dollars of handouts. Talk about corporate welfare. I am a liberal who has worked since I was 15 years old, spent 6 years in the Army, graduated college, went on to get a Masters Degree and never took a penny from the Government, but I have no problem with helping others in need. However, I do not consider CEOs with 500 million dollar golden parachutes the "needy" Get a brain.

    October 10, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. Salliesue

    Hallelujah and thank you! It's nice to hear that some conservatives can think for themselves and not just accept the campaign rhetoric!

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


    October 10, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  6. Mooseketeers going down

    Nice work on destroying America to all ewe mooseketeer retardicans..

    Now lets restore America with real leadership
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Doug Sawin

    Christopher sounds as articulate, well informed and wise as his father was.

    October 10, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  8. Phife from Canada

    Obama just makes sense for the presidency. He may not be perfect, but he is the better alternative to George W. McCain - they should have picked a more potent adversary to Obama. There also seems to be a racist tone at these Republican rallies that looks very un-American. I'm sure there are many "enlightened" Republican supporters around and until the GOP starts living in the 21st century their brand is going to die. They need to get away from these radical evangelicals with all their pro-life crap.

    October 10, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. Elizabeth - TEXAS - Former Republican

    I had so much respect for William Buckley and I'm so proud of Chris. Thank you, Mr. Buckley.

    October 10, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Eva

    Country first !

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

    After the Palin lies have now been uncovered we should see more of these defections this year from former pro-GOP individuals.

    October 10, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Gervais

    Good choice

    October 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. Samuel

    Great move Mr.Buckly
    Obama is a great leader able to rescue us from the sinking sand of GOP

    October 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. chowlover

    Many people vote for their party regardless of what the content is.
    I see a lot of htis and cant understand why so many of us have this unrelenting 'loyalty' to our polital parties. I used to vote republican because of that and I regret being a part of what I now find so sad. Obama is the one that opened my eyes and brought me to the other side. I am very proud to support him today. It is very nie to see others that have the courage (and smarts) to recognize a good thing when they see it. I dont ecpect Obama to be able to fix everything single thing because one president can't do it all--but it is very clear to me that we have absolutley no choice but to vote for change and new life in Washington. Obama is our HOPE.

    October 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Chris Mannoia

    Thank you sir, it's great to have you with us.

    Obama/Biden "08

    October 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Speider

    I await the reaction to Palin's abuse of power. What will McCain say about that? It is the fault of "that one!"

    "That One/the Other One" '08

    October 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Terri

    The only reason why Obama is meeting such resistance is due to his color. You all are a racist bunch condemning an articulate, gracious, level-headed man for a senile old racist!

    October 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Willa

    Christopher Buckley has the courage to speak what many Republicans are quietly thinking. I wouldn't be surprised if in November die hard Repubs will go to the polls and quietly vote for Barack Obama. John McCain has lost his way and sadly, it's showing.

    October 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. Tim

    Wow I never thought I would see the day when a Buckley would vote Democrat. This is a true hell freezing over moment.

    October 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. Sheryl

    I am so glad to finally read these words. I knew that there had to be Republicans with an intellectual level above what we've been seeing lately. This does my heart good.

    October 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |




    October 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  22. Lis

    Mr. William F. Buckley Jr. You make me so very proud to be part of this country. To know that there are still people like you around here, with courage, honesty and insight fills me up with trust in our country. During these confusing times this country is in desperate need for people like you with honor and dignity.
    I bet you your parents are smiling at you with joy and pride, because you did the right thing!

    October 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. no lnger trust Mccain

    Well, I understant you Mr. Buckley, how can we put our future and lives in the hands of someone who is not really able to help us get through the most difficult times we are facing in our lifetime, especially after picking Palin (who is nowhere near ready) to run the country and th efree world. Prs. Palin is one angry, nasty and sarcastic politician and I am not willing to put my life and financial securiy in her hands. Thank you so much Mr. Buckley for putiing your country first.

    October 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. meggy

    another member of the group...go away buckley.

    October 10, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. DJ

    TO aware October 10th, 2008 8:53 pm ET

    Poor choice!

    Obama has done nothing but encourage THE PEOPLE to stand up and take part in the Political process in both the local and national levels. He has encouraged the organization of volunteer groups all over the country to help others become more active in their prospective communities.

    His campaign has also reached out to those young, old, rich, poor, white, black, brown and other. I look out at the faces of those who respond to his message and they are more in line with the America I see coming together to re-build this country to its refurbished world image. I am a wealthy independent from a wealthy family and I definitely don't need a hand out. nor do I feel that Obama is trying to force one on me and my family. If you look at his programs you are given options. After all we already have some socialist programs. (ie public schools, library, national and local parks.) These are government run and a right for everyone. Why not health care?

    If you look at his (Obama's) character, Buckley is right. He has what it takes. He's smart enough to chose his VP and council wisely; and he knows how to stay above the fray without inciting violence.

    October 10, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35