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. philgramm

    A timely, thoughtful and courageous statement by Mr Buckley. He is making a cerebral and not visceral observation about the differences between Obama and McCain.

    October 10, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Wow!

    The Conservatives are gonna have a cow (or maybe a moose) over this!!!

    That One/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Republican for change

    Thank you! You made the right choice.

    Welcome abroad.

    October 10, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. kathy4change

    Good for you! This is a clear indication that Obama has the ability to reach across the aisles and bring people on board. I hope you can spread the word regarding what you think Obama can do for us when he is President!

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  5. james in the bronx

    Welcome to the winning team..

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Welcome to America's Obama camp, we need every person who wants real Change.

    October 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. Will

    Remember not to think in extremes. Just because Pres. Bush has been horrible for this country, doesn't mean every conservative is a moron.

    Though recently, some have been spotlighted, it's only because how radical in heart and mind they are!

    A couple decades from now, we'll have presidents accused of being aliens at this rate.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. RJ

    I couldn't agree with Mr Buckley more. Mc Cain keeps asking who is the real Barack Obama. I have to ask, "Who is the real John McCain?" Looks like he sold himself to get into office.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. IMOKRU

    His father got attention due to his talent. Chris Buckley gets attention because of his name. A son tries to get noticed and to do so betrayed all his father stood for for 15 minutes in the spotlight. Hed probanly sell his mother out if he could a buck or two. Kumbaya

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. James

    McCain agrees with you, Mr. Buckley. Today in Minnesota, he encouraged his throng that Obama is to be respected and not feared. I guess that's another endorsement, but not from a conservative.

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. gp

    I hope there will be more and more people who are able to think and conclude what kind of ticket republicans realy have !!!!!!!!!!!!! It is shame but that is not republican party ..They do not present republicans walues. How republicans are not discused by what McInsane and his pit bull are doing .They are creating hate. That is dengerous.They DO NOT THINK ABOUT CONTRY FIRST !!!!!!!!!!!! we are not stupid we only behae as we are !!!!!!!! Is that permanent demage ????????? Are dicent republicans going to desapear from face of the earth ????????? Or we will have courage to save our face AND SAY NOOOOOOOOOOOO TO Mc Insane and pitbull !!!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. ohio voter

    Do You know the difference between Sarah Palin and Karl Rove ???

    LIPSTICK

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Karen - Tired of McCain/Palin

    THANK YOU MR. BUCKLEY! You are seeing beyond color, stepping outside of the way your parents brought you up and I applaud you.. You are a stand up guy and is showing the world Americans can unite as one. I only wish my grandparents were still alive to see this day. All their lives they saw racism and look what we have going on... Not a black, not a white running for president but a biracial man, trying to unite the people. My neice is bi-racial and I look at her everyday with love and hope this world will be better for her. Racism is still alive in Ameica but people want it to stop and are actually trying to change... I feel like crying because I never thought in my 45 years that I would see the US make a effort to come together as one.

    October 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Faraja

    Thank you Sir!

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. Independent in America

    Thank you Mr. Buckley!

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  16. Independent Dave, Iowa

    AMEN! What he said!

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  17. Sam C

    If Mr.McCaine really cared about his country he would pick Mr. Romney to be his vice president not Mrs. Palin.
    And that action alone convinced me not to vote for him although I am not a big fan of all democratic party's idea.

    Thank you Mr Buckley

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  18. Betty

    I am so pleased to hear that some people are making decisions based on character and integrity.

    October 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. Chris

    Smart man! Welcome to the future!

    October 10, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Bryan

    funny "aware"

    your comment is nothing but tiredsome rhetoric....

    October 10, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. george

    obama is the only choice and hope to see a goverment that works for the people and not for the rich blood sucking, is time for people to wake up we need a change and fast .
    this past 8 years has been th worst in th history of this country i am tired of all the lies of bush and all the scare tactics and now mr mcain and ms i dont now what am takin about palin are using it.they are so pattetic they are a disgrace.
    by the way wh the dont talk about palin and the alaska independent party thet she suport.

    October 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  22. THAT ONE/BIDEN 08

    Why is West Virginia still "Lean McCain" when polls there clearly indicate the opposite?

    October 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. Amy in Texas

    He ain't his daddy so who cares. I'm sure his dad is rolling over in his grave. Another kool-aid drinker added to the evil empire.

    October 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  24. Mike Huntholl

    finally a republican comes to his senses..he is saying what all the rest of them with half a brain are thinking

    October 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. windfall

    the tide is turning. the pendulum is swinging back.

    it's finally our turn, so we can, once again, clean up the republicans' messes.

    October 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
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