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. Buckley For Barack And Biden

    Your dad would be proud that you followed your common sense, and did not stick to prideful rhetoric. Welcome Aboard.

    Obama/Biden 08 had a big tent.

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I am proud of the Republicans that have the courage to step up and say "enough is enough". I think there will be a lot more who will vote for Obama that may not admit it. McCain has shown that he has no character. Anyone who lets his rallies turn into meetings of the Klu Klux Klan and Nazis has no place anywhere near the White House. We have seen Obama for 20 months, non-stop. We know him and his beautiful family as well as we know anyone. Desperation is ugly, but I never dreamed I would see the kind of rallies the Republicans are holding in my lifetime in the United States of America. If you care about the future of this great country, there is only one choice. A true leader, and that is Obama. Who, for the record, is not a terrorist. How riduculous!

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. abraxis

    Buckley's son endorses a ticket that would cause his conservative father, who arguably is the patriarch of modern conservatism, to turn over in his grave. His rationale for choosing to switch should cause shiver to run down the right wing's spine.

    Even intelligent conservatives are switching sides. What does that say about those who are still clinging to McDufus and Knucklehead? Pitiful flat earth people!

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. No More McSame

    well, as the polls show, its time for change

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  5. Diane - Dallas, TX

    Well stated, Christopher Buckley!

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. Larry

    A voice of reason at a very important time.Sure beats the "Hate Talk Express"

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |

    I was wondering when you were going to mention this. I seen some stupid article about a typo on a NY ballot, and I thought "Isn't Bill Buckley's son endorsing Obama a little more significant then a typo??"

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Laidetea

    Welcome Mr. Buckley.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 10, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |

    Pailn's job now is to pail water out of the sinking MCcain/Palin Boat. Bye lady and so long McCain.

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. BV

    A brilliant man, I must say.

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Jerry, Illinois`

    I'm going to vote for "That One" also.

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Peggy, Houston, TX

    A conservative that is voting his heart and mind and not his pocketbook. He has my respect.

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Steve Wimer

    Intelligent reasons to change from McCain to Obama. Can't the GOP do better than McCain/Palin? What's wrong with the Republican party?

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. Wendy in NC

    While I am thrilled that Mr. Buckley has endorsed Sen. Obama (WTG!) I would like to point out one thing. The "We are the ones..." is not an Obama quote of rhetoric, he was using the Hopi Elder speech, since he is an advocate of Native Americans, and quoting it. This is the complete work:

    We Are the OnesWe've Been Waiting For

    You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
    Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
    And there are things to be considered:
    Where are you living?
    What are you doing?
    What are your relationships?
    Are you in right relation?
    Where is your water?
    Know your garden.
    It is time to speak your Truth.
    Create your community.
    Be good to each other.
    And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
    This could be a good time!
    There is a river flowing now very fast.
    It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
    They will try to hold on to the shore.
    They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
    Know the river has its destination.
    The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
    See who is in there with you and celebrate.
    At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
    Least of all, ourselves.
    For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
    The time of the lone wolf is over.
    Gather yourselves!
    Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
    All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
    We are the ones we've been waiting for.

    —The Elders, OraibiArizona Hopi Nation

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. lady

    thank you mr`buckley for supporting mr,obama

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    this is a smart man he put his country frist.

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Gill

    Man, Thank you for speaking up your mind. McHate and his barbie dolls (Cyndi and Sarah) are loosing their minds. God ! how far will loosers go!!

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. deborah, WV

    I have think it is a crime the way McCain, Palin, Limbaugh and other conservative radicals are inciting angry people at their hate rallys. I think that SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE!!!

    The American people don"t deserve this scary situation, especially during the meltdown our our economic system! There should be some recourse in the courts. As an American I feel they should be held accountable to the people that they are harming - that would be all of us!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Even Judge Judy is voting for "That One"...the words in the last two paragraphs have been stated over and over again by people from all parts of the political spectrum...except of course from McCain, Palin Fox broadcasters and the independent (?)Lou Dobbs!!!

    What Buckley has written certainly doesn't jive with the picture the McCain campaign is trying to paint!!

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Brian

    I'm with that guy.

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Marylou

    FINALLY, a clear thinking Republican. I feel the same way about John McCain..seems he has lost his way, acts confused, and seems snarly and out of touch. Do you think its the influence of the BUSH advisors in his campaign, the onset of dementia, or a result of the torture he endured in Viet Nam??

    October 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Jerry Ohio

    Thank You Buckley for endorsen Obama he would be so proud of your endorsement I have to say what is really going on McCain campaign he mess up when he chose Palin she awful for the republican party.....Obama would bring American together

    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. {

    I wonder if the GOPs can see what logical "reasoning" looks like. Just because you're a registered Republican means you have to get drunk or hold your nose and vote Republican. That's not COUNTRY FIRST!!

    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. Lee from FL

    well well,what do we have hear.
    i saw something on CNN today that disturbed me.

    some ladies in Florida that said they would vote republican regardless because they are Christians even if the country is going in the wrong direction.

    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. inuk of the north

    How do you like the bailout now Buckley?

    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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