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. Denise OKC

    OMG!!! Well... Welcome!!!
    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. Boye

    Just remembered something important (read it on this blog), Republicans thought John McCain was least qualified to be president that Bush and Bush turned out to be an unqualified president.

    In math, if A=>B, B=>C then A=>C. That is, if A implies B and B implies C, then A implies C. So do the math.

    Jokes apart (as I don't think the math can be applied in this situation), I just found it kind of interesting how people justify their selection.

    October 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. Kathy

    He says it all and in the most consise way one can.
    This is a big endorsement and I for one and very glad. I hope the negativity of McCain/Pailin will subside before we have unneccessary riots.

    October 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. rachae

    wow can't believe this one?

    October 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Cyrus

    The hell DID freeze over!! a Buckley endorsement? Wow!!

    Way to go Barack!

    October 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. s

    Welcome aboard! I'll scoot over so you may seat next to me on this train.

    Obama/Biden '08
    Respect. Maturity. Truth.

    October 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Susan

    Sounds good to me!
    Now if only the rest of the republican party would view the choice in this election as clearly as you do.

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. R T G

    Not so "mavericky" huh?

    This guys lost, and he's playing the sore loser, even before he officially loses! I hope his political career is done, just as well as Plain.

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. NO McCain, NO Palin, NO CINDY

    Thank you!! Finally, a Repub with some common sense.

    Now lets unite and change this country.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Brian

    no duh

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. The Republican Conscience

    McCain is cutting his own legs out from underneath him, for precisely the above mentioned reasons.

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Arthur James

    I didn't know the great Bill Buckley had a son.

    And neither does anyone else.

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Letsgetreal

    Wow. Dad must be rolling over in his grave. How sad that even his own party is decrying McCain's dirty and slanderous last minute attempts to change the tide of this campaign.

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. chris in oregon

    This is beyond party politics. This is the cry of the nation for change in direction. Mr. Buckley you are truly patriotic.

    October 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Wow

    Barack Obama, it's about time you start packing your things to move into the White House.

    It's great to have you, Mr. President-Elect.

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Thomas

    His Father would be proud.
    We need more fiscal conservatives that are realistic. McCain is a good man ,he just went with the wrong campaign advisors.
    As did Gore in 2000.
    We need to work together more then ever.

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. maurice

    no obama no mcain and im against all incumbants hooraa for the other guys

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  18. Republican For Obama

    Mr. Buckley has peaked beyond the partisan curtain and seen exactly what Obama supporters see–a gifted and brilliant man on a path that feels almost written in the stars.

    I presume many other conservatives will now gravitate away from McCain and to Obama–if for no other reason than to just save face for supporting the McCain/Palin comedy show.

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. s.positive

    AMAZING...

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. JUNIOR

    IT IS GOOD TO SEE REPENTED REPUBLICANS OR IN HIS CASE JUST BEING FACTUAL AND GENIUNE ! McCAIN / PALIN HAVE BECOME THE WORST JOKE EVER !

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  21. Joan

    Thank you Buckley for bringing some common sense into this election.

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Mike in Jacksonville

    While William F, is probably turning over right now. This is a huge endorsement. I hope more conservatives can see the light. Go Barack/Biden08

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Jason

    Welcome aboard....

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. GK

    Arise O Nation. Bring in the change you seek. Vote for the people who genuinely want to bring in change in our lives.
    No Lies, No More Atrocities, No more Dumb President, No more reckless aggression.
    Peace be to the world.
    God Bless the World. God Bless America.

    Obama/Biden '08/12

    October 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. David

    Wow! Finally a conservative who is brave, smart, and honest enough to show others the important criteria on which to decide who would make the best president!! I applaud Mr. Buckley - hopefully he'll make the talk shows!

    October 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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