October 10th, 2008
11:08 PM ET
12 years ago

A Buckley endorses Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/10/art.buckley.ap.jpg caption="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. Susan

    I believe very responsible Republican voters see what the reality is and how it's affecting what's going on at this time, and McCain, I'm afraid ,is about 8-10 years too late. McCain has no plan to help this nation and will do anything to be President. It's too freightening to think that if he died while in office, the Palin pick would be an abomindation to what decent legislators Republican or Democrat have worked very hard for.

    October 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  2. Priscilla California

    Finally, someone thinking clearly! Thanks for having the courage to stand up for your beliefs.

    October 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. renando

    Holy cow. What can you say to that. Turn out the lights, Elvis has just left the building!

    October 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. USA in 08

    There is some hope for the right wing after all. What he sees is that it is not progressive vs conservative but who is the right leader for our country.

    McCain is someone who I once voted for and I agree that he is no longer the person he once was.

    October 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Rob in North Carolina

    That is putting country first.

    The heated rhetoric of the GOP needs to stop otherwise it will fracture our country. We are a country in peril and our unity is needed now more than ever.

    October 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Steven

    Wow! McCain's ship is really sinking. This is incredible!

    October 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Mel in GA



    October 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. Dave in Washington State

    Good on you Christopher! A very wise decision!

    October 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Walter, Long Beach

    The last truly intelligent and honest conservative?

    October 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Beth

    I could not agree more with Buckley! I hope more republicans follow. There is simply too much at stake this election, and a McCain/Palin administration would only bring the US economy down even more – we need the democrats back in the White House, so we can get through this financial mess.

    Go Obama!

    October 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. yasmine

    where are the bigs fllying.. this is big!

    October 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. H Riemenschneider

    your right, mccain is not a true leader, for these troubled times.get your message, out people respect your thoughts thank you.

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. CJ 24

    Hey Rushbo, can't wait to hear your take on this tomorrow. Enjoy your ratings, there will be a major drop come Nov 5 once us Obamabots have done OUR job successfully.

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. kjs

    The trickle is turning into a flood – the 2000 version of McCain may have had a chance despite the rough economy. Not this knucklehead. Next big endorsement for Obama....Colin Powell.

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Amen!

    My sentiments exactly!!! I used to really like John McCain. His campaign's negativity is really getting to me!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Change and Truth

    This is what America needs, a change from rhetoric McCain to solution, Mr. Obama. Thank you sir for your honesty.

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. barry

    No,...Hell has frozen over...where's my coat

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. usualone

    Wow! Refreshing...It is nice to see there are reasonable, not firey angry, Republicans out there. I am not just happy that Mr. Buckley is voting for Mr. Obama, it is because he is thoughtfully looking at his choices. That is how America is supposed to be. It is one thing to be enthusiastic about his/her candidate. It is non-productive for all the "hateful" negativity that so many of his party have put forth recently. What used to be secretly kept, so many Republicans are openly demonstrating with this demonic behavior. Maybe they never lost an election before. Whatever the outcome, it would be wonderful to see these people act like adults and take the outcome gracefully. It will only help all Americans if that would become the case. I guess I'm dreaming.

    October 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Raul in California

    You're so right ! John McCain is not the maverick he claims to be. Back in 2000 he lead us to believe that he was different and authentic, that he cared for the things thar are important and relevant to average americans.....come to find out he was all words...no substance (sad)...


    Si se puede !! Yes we can !!

    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. lisa

    Sooner or later , before Nov 4, every one is going to vote for Obama / Biden ticket.
    Americans are same people. They will never support pathetic liars-McShame & McPig.

    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Bra Rick


    Finally, slowly but surely the rational minds are putting on their thinking caps.

    Bill Clinton was right....Hope always triumphs over fears!

    The chickens (Politics of fear and impulsive decision making) are finally coming home to roost in the McCain campaign.

    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Juan Grain


    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Plato

    Buckley, you are a courageous man with a keen sense of judgement. What you have is what is lacking in a large proportion of our populace – an ability to think with your head and not the nether part of the lower intestine. America is perilously close to interparty/political violence that has until now only been seen in places like Africa – thanks to the unfortunate and despicable volatile incitement to anger by McCain and his retarded protege Palin. BELIEVE ME AMERICA, YOU DO NOT WANT McCAIN AND PALIN IN POWER.

    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. NC Voter

    Just another bought and paid for media person. What else is new? If he was not a Buckley no one would even know him.

    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. brian

    Exactly Mr. Buckley. My sentiments exactly.

    October 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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