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. David

    Very well said without being mean-spirited or nasty in his analysis and reasons for supporting Barack Obama. I am glad that Mr. Buckley is showing courage and good judgment in throwing his support behind Barack Obama.

    McCain is eroding his own support through his actions and in-actions on the campaign trail. By not being critical of his crowds and instead feeding on the crowds rage he is showing poor judgment and character. He said that his experience in Vietnam changed him and made him put "country first" but his behavior over the past two weeks show otherwise.

    In addition, people should really open their eyes and ears when they listen to either Sarah or John speak. Even their supporters should see the garbage that is coming out their mouths and if you support them you are doing it blindly and without thought.

    Mr. Buckley congratulations on your decision and courage to openly support Barack Obama, the only clear choice for America and the world today.

    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Democrat 4 life

    Welcome aboard. Although i do fear for Obama's life. The Republicans are a disgrace. I'm a Christian and Christians do not behave as such. Doesn't the Bible say "For God so loves the world". Maybe It says "For God so loves White people only". The rethugs are acting like this country is only theirs and they are entitled to the presidency. Remember God says one thing He hates is a prideful heart. "God resists the proud, but favor the humble". If Obama doesn't win, with the economy in such a bad shape, Sarah Palin being one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency, people losing their houses, pensions and so on... I will never vote again in my life. This is my first time and may just be my last.

    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Tee Hee

    Wow! A conservative who is also a realist and acknowledges the "elephant" in the room. Doing and saying anything to get elected does not the maverick make.

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

    Very interesting development. It seems that more and more conservatives realize how messed up the current GOP has made this fine country.


    October 10, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Alex in hawaii

    Wow. Barack, you are MY choice for the presidency of the U.S. 🙂 I'm so excited!

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

    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 |
  7. Great Leader!!!


    Thank you Mr. Buckley for really putting COUNTRY FIRST!!!!!!!!!!
    Let's hope that more Republicans will do the same.

    Taking back America for the People.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008 – 2016

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Educated, logical conservatives and independents can even see the clear choice. Its the radicals on the edge of the Republican Party that really believe he's a terrorist who i'm more worried about because they apparently have no sense of right and wrong, and actually believe everything that Rush & Hannity say no matter how farfetched!

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. McHoover Will Destroy What is Left of America

    Finally a Republican who really puts Country First!!!

    Looking forward to Nov 5th so McSleezy and his new girlfriend can disappear.

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Colorado independent

    Next Obama endorsement? How about Rush? Rove? Wow McCain must have taken this one personally.

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. Former Hillary supporter

    Well, this is no surprise. When Hillary lost in the primaries, I SWORE I would never vote for Obama... even if she begged me. OK, so I have listened to all his speeches and debates and I am now officially a flip-flopper (thank God), and I can't wait for this smart, intelligent, cool, calm, and collected man to be President. It amazes me that people are falling for McCain and Palin, Obama all the way!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Chelle in Fla

    For once we have an open-minded Republican. I agree with him 100%, the John McCain that we see now is not the McCain I would have prefered over Bush.

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. C W

    This is amazing – and very welcome! I have long believed that Barack Obama is not only a thoughtful, intelligent person, but someone with the ability to rally people across the political spectrum to the cause of serving our country in its, and its people's, best interest.

    I hope this endorsement by Christopher Buckley will bring other Conservatives to the table and help people see that Obama is not only the pragmatic choice, the responsible choice, but also the inspiring choice for President in November.

    We will bring this country back around – with the help of Senator Obama, Senator Biden and the many, many committed people from all walks of life.

    After all, that spirit, drive and commitment to public service is what founded our country and has enabled us to face, take on and overcome our challenges throughout our nation’s history.

    Obama/Biden ‘08

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Mina

    Woo hoo!!!!
    This put a big smile on my face.

    October 10, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Love Huckabee

    I can't wait until this blows up.

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. levis210

    welcome at board sir.

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Love Huckabee

    Oh, and by the way from Huckabee to Obama-Biden 08!!

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. Neicey in Ohio

    Welcome abroad Mr Buckley!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. Ronald

    McBush cries about the activities of acorn but nothing about the many instances of African Americans being removed off the Voter rolls because their homes are in foreclosure. These voters are not being notified so when they show up to vote they wil be turned away. This is shamefull purposeful Disenfranchisement by the ReThuglicans on a frightening scale. Is this still America? Or has Bush stolen it from us?

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. Gene

    Good for you Buckley...

    About time more people are realizing what the effects are when you have a president who's a reactionist and not a strategist.

    Obama is not only cool, calm, rational... but he's also highly intelligent. I don't want another sub-par student heading our country. I don't want a "joe six pack" backing him up. I want my leaders to be scholars, people who value the benefits of education.

    This is the one thing that solidified my position against McCain.. When he voted against the new GI bill because "he didn't want to encourage people to leave the military and go to college"... sorry McCain. That's why we're falling behind in the world. That's why countries like Japan and India are running circles around us as far as technological and exporting growth.. because they realize that a highly educated work force is the #1 method to improving your economy.

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Bob Barr 2008

    Fiscal Conservatives–Tired of the socialism proposed not only by Obama, but McCain too? If you can't imagine voting Obama, but can't bring yourself to vote McCain, check out Bob Barr's website. Even though he is running as a Libertarian, he is the one TRUE Republican in this race. Thank you for your attention.

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Tom

    Buckley says what many of us have been saying all along. McCain has sold his soul for a desire to be president. The one time maverick has become something hard to understand, incohereht, and foolish. And then there is his small-minded and mean-spirited attacks on his rival. Obama has shown poise, intelligence, and real leadership qualities as we continue to witness an American – even global financial meltdown. We need Obama in the White House and a real strategy to run this big business we call America.

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. BJ, Texas

    And who cares what this guy thinks? Go ahead libs, let the drooling begin...

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Andy

    Wow. And thus is another notch in the end of modern conservatism.

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. Sarah Palin is Obama's best friend.

    Of course the GOPs with living brain cells know McCain needed someone who has credibility to help him win. He could choosen someone that will make his age and disease less of an issue rather he once again chose "self " rather than country. People are not fools they get it!!!! That's why he's going to loose. Palin is good for the base but she's chased off the independents!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dear i say it again Palin's is Obama's best friend!!

    October 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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