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. Muffet

    WELCOME ABOARD BUCKLEY!

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. SvanBasten

    Here falls the domino's like a house of cards – I have held this for a long time, it's not that McCain is a bad guy he just has no idea to deal with the modern day issues facing modern day folks....

    It's like an old boxer – Evander Holy Field – once a great boxer and cannot compete in the big leagues anymore.

    Fade away gracefully – It's about time we gave THAT ONE a chance.

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. Art Chambers

    Geez- two nice things in one day. I heard McCain describe Obama as a "decent man." or something like it when asked by one of his supporters if Obama was an Arab. It was his best moment in a long time.

    October 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. Dadedi

    Bye bye Retardlicans. See you in 2042 when you will win again!

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. AverageJane6Pack for Obama

    Finally. I republican who's not afraid to think outside of the box.....or even think for that matter.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. 2008Voter

    It's become very obvious that regardless of your policy positions, Obama's campaign runs more smoothly than either Hillary or McCain. That's how we need an administration to run during these pretty dramatic times. How can anyone Democrat or Republican not agree with that? It's what we need to do this time. Enough divide.

    October 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. janet, ohio

    I'm Scared. Who's next? Rush?

    Seriously, who ever heard of this guy? I don't give a half-day's crap who he supports.

    October 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. j. williams

    Buckley ??? he's really made a contribution to society... oh yeah he shares someones genes, of course their is bad sper_

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

    even some republicans want to do the best we can for our country, now. obama has shown he can work with all types of folks.

    October 10, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Former Republican for OBAMA

    SO AM I. MY FIRST VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT.

    SHOULD HAVE DONE IT WITH BUSH SR.

    AND TWICE WITH BUSH JR.

    October 10, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. James W. Smith

    Mr. Buckley's father will roll over in his grave when his son's choice for President nominates the next candidates for the Supreme Court.

    October 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. Is McPalin A Witch?

    Welcome to the 'United' States Mr. Buckley.
    Welcome to civility.
    Its never too Late.

    Mc Cain Was also Guilty of abuses now his Book-end Palin is too..

    October 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. Venturagal

    I too am a conservative that is planning on voting for Obama. I know how Buckley feels. It's a little strange at first when you've always voted Republican. But I also feel Obama has the potential to be a great leader. I hope and pray Obama will come to the middle. Because like it or not, our country is made of liberals and conservatives. It's time they work together and respect one another.

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

    Mr. Buckley.............Thank you.............I always admired your father........he had great insight as it seems you do........you are correct in saying...........and many agree with you.............that Senator Obama has the potential to be a GREAT leader........John McCain may have been sharp and focused back in the day..........be lacks spirit...........drive.......all he has left is bitterness.........and throws it around very easily........with no remorse..........and yes, he must have been insane to have picked such a 'nobody' to run for VP.........Senator Obama and Senator Biden make a good team......very spirited........good clean ideas............focused on the American people and what is right for one and all............Sherry in Missouri

    October 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. Adrienne

    I'm thankful McCain is starting to take the high road. His crowds and the hate talk they were screaming out was freaking me out. I hope McCain will not lose his honor. Because is he keeps it... no matter what... he will not lose. This race is nothing next to his honor.

    October 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Isn't any wonder that Christopher Buckley is supporting Senator Obama since Senator McCain's campaign stops are turning into Adolf Hitler's beer hall putches. You can almost envision the Nuremberg rallies when you watch McCain and especially Gov. Palin campaigning.

    October 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. kay

    Anyone who has a brain and uses it will vote for Barack.

    October 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  18. FlaDem

    Isn' t it refreshing for Mr. Buckley to come forward and state publically what most of us truly believe, Barak Obama is an honorable man, that is respected all over the world, that can lead us out of this mess. Our country has suffered greatly in the past 8 years. It's time to re-build, and gain some respect. I truly believe that Obama supporters are reasonable people, that only want good for this country. We are not hate mongers who dwell on fear. Let's get the election over with.....this whole thing is really getting old though......Go BAMA!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  19. Hope LV,NV

    I appreciate those who are honest about McCain's rash behavior in the last few weeks, Say what you like about Obama, but he is consistent and very pragmatic. These times call for a calm steady driver.

    October 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. Donna

    Aware..you aren't very "aware" are you? Obama does not want people to view themselves as victims, etc....your ignorance is showing!!!

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

    EXACTLY PUT – BUCKLEY

    I AM LIKE YOU – Democrat OR Republic ; Liberal or Conservative

    This is NOT the time for Idealogies and crap – this is the requirement / need of the hour ... I mean what else can you expect when a Guy says it straight AND supports even the ideas of Conservatives ...

    Any IDIOT who is still voting as a hockey OR soccer Mom OR Liberal OR Conservative (in my mind) is not only a knuckle head and a MORON but an illiterate ....

    thank you

    October 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. bill for Obama/Biden

    Of course she abused power.....she is the female version of VP Cheney. We cannot continue with individuals thinking they are more important than our Constitution. Please.....vote for Obama so we can get back to representing the PEOPLE....not the powerful people!

    October 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  23. FlaDem

    Isn' t it refreshing for Mr. Buckley to come forward and state publically what most of us truly believe, Barak Obama is an honorable man, that is respected all over the world, that can lead us out of this mess. Our country has suffered greatly in the past 8 years. It's time to re-build, and gain some respect. I truly believe that Obama supporters are reasonable people, that only want good for this country. We are not hate mongers who dwell on fear. Let's get the election over with.....this whole thing is really getting old though......Go BAMA!!!!

    CNN Please post this comment.

    October 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. Eugene

    Wow! The dam is breaking.

    October 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. Cincinnati Bodhisattva

    No Mr. Buckley, hell did not freeze over. The Republican Party of leaders like president Eisenhower; Senators Everett Dirksen, Jim Thompson, and Margaret Chase Smith has disappeared. You are interested in thoughtful leadership and reasoned opinion. The McCain – Palin ticket offers rabid culture warriors and not much else.

    October 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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