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. Bridgette-PA

    Welcome Mr. Buckley. Now maybe more conservative Republicans will follow your lead! As for the comments from "Aware"....you sound so scared! Calm down. It will be Ok, OBAMA/BIDEN GOT THIS 🙂


    October 10, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. Marilynn, Wilmington, NC

    Thank you Mr. Buckley for your honesty and fresh insight. The words you have spoken are all true.. I'm a VA born, living in NC girl who's trying hard to turn Carolina Blue... md

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Mike in Florida

    Well said. Thank you sir.

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. GT in CA

    Another intelligent American voting for the smart guy (not the hot chick).

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Steph

    Mr. Buckley,
    Thank you for pointing out what has bothered me for months now. This is not the John McCain I thought I knew.

    If you read the transcripts of Obama's speeches since he first ran for the Illinois state senate, he has been consistent throughout. I live in Illinois, and this is the same Obama I have known and respected for years.

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Mountain man

    aware-I don't place my hand out unless there is something to give. I am not an enabler, only to encourage people to do better for themselves. I am not a victum because I refuse to be let one. If you feel that the future president is "obfuscating" to you, I am sorry. I, myself find comfort knowing that the great country we call the United States of America, will rise up out of these past 8 years with a brighter future not only for our kids, but grandchildren. No, I am not disillusioned, I am just your REAL average six-pack Bob and I know what the issues are. To some, that is not attainable. Sorry.

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Lisa

    Right on, Mr. Buckley! How refreshing and important to see someone throw their support behind a cantidate, in this case Obama, based on careful analysis, rather than blind party affiliation. Obama has the intelligence and temperament to bring our country back on course.

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. Brenda R. Harris

    Yeah !!!, but have you seen what is following McCain? his crowd is becoming a leach mob. They don't care about who endorses whom. These people want to kill something or someone.They are almost as bad as the screaming women that was supporting Hillary. McCain and Palin have created these people and now they are trying to quiet them down and it wo'nt work.

    October 10, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Leticia

    Obama is convincing many people. McCain choosing Palin absolutely changed things for many of us. Negative campaigns are also not working. He is appearing desperate.

    October 10, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. John

    Well, McCain has really gone to far. True Conservatives are beginning to walk away from his campaign. Only the wingnuts remain. What shame, I often thought he was an honorable man and worthy of being president, not any more. I find many conservative friends scratching their heads and wondering what has become of the John McCain we once knew.

    October 10, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Olivia

    What you see isn't always what you get.......to voice an old cliche'.

    My red flags...gongs...whistles....senses... have been going off ever since I watched the primary. Still going strong......maybe stronger.

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. Palin causes McCain loss

    We republicans can no longer vote for a woman who lies as easily as Sarah Palin does. She is breaking so many commandments that even devote republican christians can't support her any more.

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. wake-up


    watch the news do you really think the jobs lost this year alone that the goverment casued is not a problem the goverment needs to fix.

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. Mary

    I salute you sir, great choice, great thinking and rational...wish more people would see it this way. The future is all we have and it is time, the right time...Obama is the right man for the time.

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. dzent1

    Wait a minute! Isn't this guy one of the East Coast Elite? How dare he be educated, thoughtful and an intelligent observer of the presidential candidates!

    And obviously the Joe Six Packs flaming his position have given the matter much weightier consideration.

    You've certainly convinced ME with your talking points, AWARE.

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. A.C from the Great Blue State of California

    Thank goodness some on the right side... can see the light! Remember the hate speeches on the MCCain/Palin side will only site Civil Unrest and may lead to unspeakable acts to a nation as diverse as ours (U.S). Don't forget that their are those on the left side that will not sit idle and allow these Bigots and Racist start trouble on the streets of America. LET"S NOT GO THERE!

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. Lalo

    Who is this person? I mean, who IS he? Being the son of a great man is no qualification, although it seems to have gotten him a job. Why is anybody focused on him?

    The comments have mentioned two "conservatives" who plan to vote for Obama. What are they smoking? People who claim to be conservative will vote for a radical and socialist? Give us a break!

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. Bulldog

    Just shows how radical and unstable the McCain and Palin ticket truly is. Palin has just be indicted of ethics violations of the Alaska Constitution and they are trying their hardest to sweep it under the rug. McCain has shown how unstable he truly is by picking this person to be his VP. What a disgrace.

    October 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  19. fonzi, a true independent.

    Thank you Buckley! This proves that Obama will be a leader that has the potential to unite people with different political views unlike theMcCain/Palin ticket that is bent on creating bitter,angry,divisive politics.

    October 10, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  20. petena

    Its about OUR responsibility to elect the "best" candidate that will LEAD our country. Your decision is highly commendable. It IS the right decision for our time.

    October 10, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. Dan

    I don't know how anybody could be satisfied with either of these candidates. Obama's arrogance is extremely unappealing and McCain has allowed his advisers to ruin his chances. I'm tired of both of them and wish we could have a re-do of the primaries. Romney is actually starting to look good. I never thought I would say that.

    October 10, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. A Joe six pack

    a new day for America is coming

    October 10, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  23. Granny Jo

    The Oboma campaign people have The Power of Positive Thinking
    Nothing works better...... Think about that mcain/palin

    October 10, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Well, thank you, Mr. Buckley. I guess the scales have fallen from your eyes as well.... we are all beginning to see that the emperor is wearing no clothes!

    Obama all the way!

    October 10, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  25. Patti

    William F. Buckley made something of himself. His son, never heard of him until tonight--and we probably won't again after tonight.

    October 10, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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