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. Francisco Cardenas

    Buckley obviously is suffering from a brain tumor.

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. McWhine

    This is what I call courage, honesty, and maverick act.

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. donald, atlanta

    I agree McCain can't control his own campaign, Let alone the country..

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Kevin

    GREAT JOB.... SO AM I. As a conservative republican I couldn't have been more disappointed in his Palin choice, and over the past few weeks McCain has turned into a squirrel running out of acorns as winter approaches. HE IS NOT THE JOHN MCCAIN I KNEW AND SUPPORTED A MONTH AGO. Obama has impressed me with his response to this crisis. Although I don't think he is any where near qualified to be president. I believe that he will take advice from everyone to make the best decisions that are good for our country, his plans are realistic and concise. I have had it with McCain. Fed Up! Mad!

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. David Minneapolis

    Buckley sees the writing on the wall. The good people of Virginia and North Carolina see the writing on the wall. The only people who don't see it are John, Sarah and Cindy. It says "Obama/Biden, you betcha."

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Linda, NC

    This is what I have been looking for. It is time for americans to stand for what is right and just in our own country.

    Thanks for speaking the truth Mr. Buckley. This time America is united.. Republicans, Democrats and Independents... all for Obama!

    United under One Nation under One Flag for One Bright Leader.

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    PS: Post this CNN

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. blue coastr

    Good. This shows at least some in the GOP have the ability to vote for temperament and intellect over hot air and failed policies.

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Walter, FL

    OMG – Thank you so much! Maybe this helps a few more of them to wake up and see what kind of hate and extremism is going on right now.
    I KNOW not all Republicans are idiotic fear-mongers, but I am afraid the extremists have taken over the party: I hope more sane Republicans will come out, demanding back the good ole GOP after the election!!

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Boye

    I wouldn't be surprised if John McCain himself ends up voting for Obama. Honestly, this is part of why people can't run solely on experience. The more experience McCain, somehow chooses to apply the negative things he learned (aka extremely negative character attacks that he once deplored, or did he?). See I don't have any problem with McCain bring up Obama's past (especially if he think it is relevant for the American people to know about it), but if it were that important, why not at the beginning of the general election? Well, that's probably because he didn't think it was so important that it had to be discussed but important enough to be exploited.

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. Denise Colorado

    Come on over...this is indeed good news

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Even CNN said in Wolf Blitzer`s "Situation Room" that
    quote
    Obama might keep secr. Paulson as treasury secr. for some time, overlapppimg. in his next administration.
    unquote

    CNN and Buckley seem to have a similar understanding.

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Boston Bean

    OMG There is HOPE for us after all.

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. steve

    I liked McCain 2000. I don't recognize McCain 2008.
    Sad for him and the American people!

    October 10, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. D&D

    What else needs to be said?!

    October 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. dbacchus

    I learn that every day: more and more registered Republicans are going to vote for Obama. Maybe we will unite the country after all!

    October 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Lara

    Good for him he made the right move Senator Obama is much more Presidental the McCain. As for Palin she might be a good hockey mom but she is not Vice President.

    October 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. From MIAMI

    Thank you Mr. Buckley!
    And WELCOME to the Democrat Party :-)

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12

    October 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. Wake Up Please

    It's great to see people who are willing to take off their partisan blinders. Good for you Christopher Buckley!

    As for McCain... it's too bad... but everything Buckley says about him is true.

    October 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. Canuck

    Its all comin together. I just need to know: Who is sarah palin, troopergate, her pastor, what is this . As a curious republican, I gotta know?? I just gotta know, right???

    October 10, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. Ed Word

    The rabid right will quickly dismiss him as a wayward sheep, not at all in tune with his father's philosophy.

    The right can't accept criticism, so they smear and try to diminish any opposing opinions.

    I wonder when Colin Powell and Chuck Hagel will make their endorsements..................

    October 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  21. Brad

    It's a good start when you begin to win over those who have disagreed with you.

    October 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. When you're right you're right

    Way to go Christopher!!

    His comments about McCain are all too true – very sad fate for a genuine hero. But, it is all McCain's own doing and he could stop any time and stick to issues if he choise.

    Much as I admire McCain's courage facing the Viet Cong, Obama's courage in facing the rage of American rednecks (rage being deliberately stoked by McCain and Palin) is even more awe-inspiring.

    Obama 08 & 12.

    October 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Tim

    The Republican Party of Reagan and Goldwater would find this a big deal. But today's anti-intellectual GOP won't care. They're too busy worshipping at the altar of mediocrity.

    October 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. I Invented the McMuffin... and fire

    Cue the Fat Lady ! It's all over; 5.4.3.2.1. you are McDone!

    October 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. BOOTSTOMPER

    Thank god some conservatives really see McCain for what he really is.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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