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. DEM

    All of my neo-con friends (lost souls, all) are feeling sick right now. I love it!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I always liked Wm Buckley – he was a very intelligent and interesting man.

    I'm glad his son has some of his wisdom. Thinking about the US instead of just along party lines.

    Thank you Mr. Buckley, for your analysis and statements.

    October 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. nana bruno

    welcome,welcome,and welcome again in our team
    we all love you .i am sure you won't regret your vote.
    we welcome you in our team with open arms

    October 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. George


    October 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. AP (ATL)

    Welcome aboard! It's about time someone from the republican party demonstrated clear, practical thinking. Obama IS what our time is calling for. I think he will make a great, thoughtful leader.

    October 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. tulsa

    Thank you so much.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Jim in Indiana

    And I quote regarding the Palin
    nomination.... " What on earth can he have been thinking".

    She is as dense as early morning fog.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Billy

    Not every Republican enjoys watching their party overrun by hate mongers and racists.

    Come on over to Obama, there is plenty of room here and we don't care where you've been so much as where you want to go.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Ms Wright

    Welcome Aboard

    Glad your on the Winning Team!

    Obama/Biden 08'12

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Well, thank you, Mr. Buckley.

    It's very nice to hear Republicans admitting what most of the rest of the country is seeing and hearing. If you are a rational, thinking, intelligent individual; it is obvious that McCain has lost his integrity!

    I agree that simply having chosen Palin shows just how much so. She is taking his party to an all time low. And after Bush/Cheney and swift boat politics, I would never have thought it possible!

    Again, thank you, Mr. Buckley. I think Obama will make a good President.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. AM

    Good man...hope enough others realize that MCain in off his rocker.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. The age of McCainism!

    Vote for HOPE! Not for HATE! I didn't like your father Chris, but you carry his name well. Thank you for supporting the true leader in this election. The John McCain we once knew is gone.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    buckley...who the heck is that? anyway in other news.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    dirt bag

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. hollerbode

    Well spoken Buckley!Obama's "potential" is way better than the lies of deceit of McCain.

    October 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Maria

    It's nice to see a major conservative be intellectually honest with the American people.

    I hope they will begin to re-brand on November 5.

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

    It is very refreshing to see a Republican saying enough is enough with the negative campaigning! I used to really like McCain until he started turning ugly.

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    He's a smart man. I think even his father would have endorsed Obama over McCain given McCain's current radical positions and erratic behavior.

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. indy chris

    And don't forget character, Mr Buckley. Senator Obama is neither a serial adulterer nor a degenerate gambler like Senator McCain. Senator Obama never said that his only reason for running for the presidency is his ambition to be president, like Senator McCain did.

    Character, indeed!

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. IndianaBill

    Another die-hard conservative like me coming to see McCain for what he is: A sellout socialist! Bob Barr in 08! Ron Paul as the republican nominee in 2012!

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    On the October 2 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity repeatedly praised Gov. Sarah Palin for citing during the vice-presidential debate Sen. Barack Obama's August 13, 2007, remark that "[w]e've got to get the job done there [in Afghanistan] and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there." However, Hannity - who has repeatedly criticized Obama's remark, including during an October 1 interview with Palin - did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently apologized for deaths resulting from coalition airstrikes, saying in a September 17 statement: "I offer all Afghans my sincere condolences and personal regrets for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes.

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. Mountain man

    You can really start seeing the smart people lining up! I "BeTcHa" Colin Powell will endorse O8ama too! "What cha think" America!? Isn't McCain "Inciting a moblike/terrorist behavior" with his gatherings?

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. GO SARAH!!!

    ...back to Alaska.

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Geraldine

    I think Buckley is a thoughtful man and puts the future of our country and economy before political party. I was considering McCain, but am completely taken aback by the way his campaign has progressed and his inability to coherently address the issues that are so pressing right now. Thank you Buckley. People like you will help us really put our country first.

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. Obama for me

    WOW Just WOW
    Who would have believed it. Even the conservatives have given up on McCain!

    October 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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