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. Blogthis

    A Buckley is getting all Mavricky !

    October 10, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Karen

    Thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel.

    October 10, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Mike G in SC

    OK...this is HUGE. It shows that there is hope that light bulbs can come on even from people that have historical roots to oppose change. Congratulations Mr. Buckley. I salute you for taking a strong stand that is needed during these terrible times.

    October 10, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Price

    My sentiments are the same as those of Mr. Buckley–and I am a registered Republican voting for Obama. McCain is so erratic that he appears to have some form of dementia. And Palin is nothing more nor nothing less than McCain's ruffled-feather macaw.

    October 10, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. C Spurgeon

    Wow gives me some of the faith back . There are good sensible people on the right. We all need to go dead middle and get our issues solved together.

    October 10, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Florida

    Thank you Mr. Buckley.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. Ken from Kansas

    Two thoughts: Obama should definitely highlight this endorsement. It reinforces his bipartisan credentials.

    Second, how long before the hard-right-wingers start calling for Buckley's head and throw him under the bus?

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. SD


    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. Where is the rest?

    We have to tell republicans... It is good to jump to our side. Even if you don't agree with us..we both agree on a bright and better America. She needs our union. She needs us.

    Obama 08

    For a brighter future.

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    'Nuff said.

    Obama 08

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. BJGT

    The chickens are are deserting a sinking ship and the rats are coming up to roost.

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. Liberal Texan for Obama

    this just goes to show all you non believing neo con witch hunters that Mclame is losing the support of his republican base and some very well respected conservatves. Forgive me if I misspell anything, I'm typing this from my iPhone at a Texas high school football game.

    "The Straight Talk Express has lost a wheel"

    -Senator/Future President Barack Obama

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. From Ohio

    Wow. That is quite interesting. I'm kind of glad some people look beyond party affiliation to actual content. The VP point was not belabored, Pawlenty would have been a better pick. Things might look different right now.

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Jubilation

    November 4, here we come.
    Long live America.
    Obama-Biden '08.

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Independent Woman

    As a Democrat, I appreciate Republicans like Buckley. We are in this situation together. It's about time that we show unity among each other to bring about changes that are needed. As I've said all along, this election isn't about McCain nor Obama. It's about who can bring about the fundamental changes that this country desperately needs. Government need to establish a relationship with the American people and international community, which has been missing for the past eight years.

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Sixy, Dallas

    God bless America..!
    Obama raises not only hope for the future but makes me wish i was American..!
    Americans should see what my eyes see & hear what am hearing from this man.
    surely the choice is clear but its hard to imagine the "undecided" voters.
    I wonder wat they need to hear

    October 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. gerri

    Can you and Sarah smell the coffee yet John?Please end it now,dont be afraid to throw in the towel and save what little history you have left.

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Lisa, MD

    Amen 🙂

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. Melly

    Other Republican folks must learn and join Obama

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Susan

    I agree with Mr. Buckley about Sen. McCain's nasty, angry and smear
    tactics the Sen has been using against Obama at his racist ralleys this week. As time goes by during this election time his silly rants and ravings are not what the american people want to hear. In fact it's a turn-off to most people. I believe the American people want to hear
    his plan about what he's going to do about the average Americans who are suffering during this horrible time in our in our economy.
    He shows poor judgement skills about issues and people are tired of his suggestions to solve problems that don't make sense. He finds it hard to keep on course while speaking and he flip-flops alot.

    Susan from CT Obama-Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. Johnny

    Amen to that!

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Unbelievable!

    A voice of REASON... cheers to you, Buckley!

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. gulp

    Thanks for actually putting country, not party, first.

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Michael

    A statement from a true and worthy conservative. McCain is not a conservative; nor is he a maverick. He is merely everything Palin accuses Obama of. True conservatives will recognize that their best interests will be served in a McCain/Palin trouncing at the polls, and a period of time to rebuild with fresh ideas. I look forward to see what a fresh and humbled Republican party might look like (hope that it will be free of those wishing to mix church and state) ~ Committed Christian.

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Mary (Texas)

    Sure why not support someone that has values of a moran and pals around with terroristS and is involved in vote FRAUD –

    ACORN - your democratic vote recruiting machine!!!

    Then there is Biden – DOES NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT THE ROLE OF A VP IS!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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