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. Canuck

    Good people = Good judgement= Great country!!

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Scott - Republican

    that is a clear-headed and well spoken argument to vote for obama. i hope that resonates throughout the rest of the party and we can settle down on the real issues that are facing our nation. leadership that is reckless and woeful in it's intent to stoke factionalism and anger is not what this country needs.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Teddy California

    I think whichever party takes over the white house will eventually be the loser in the long term. The next few years will be the adjustable times for Americans. American living standard has to be lowered in the next few years. The party in power will be blamed for the decline. If Americans listened to Carter's words and went to Carter's direction, Americans would not have the current energy crisis and the financial crisis, and such a huge debt. Sure, living standard would not be as good as under Reagan's economics. But there would not be such a huge debt.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Ken

    YES! The cards are falling in place.

    Obama 08

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Matt

    Buckley seems to get it. I hope more conservatives realize what is right for the country.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well, looks like McCain/Palin's anti-Obama rhetoric doesn't get to everyone....only those who are like "sheep" and to choose to follow instead of thinking with their brains.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. Jake145

    WOW!!!!! OMG!!! talk about a slap in the face...

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  8. Charlie

    What a strange concept - voting for the most qualified candidate. How refreshing.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Stacy- Houston

    I am SPEECHLESS... who would have ever thought this would have happened.

    Obama CAN do it and I am happy to see that people are coming around, even some extreme Conservatives like Buckley.

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. This RedNeck 4 Obama


    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. R4OBAMA

    Praise the LORD! An answer to a prayer of mine.... Expecting outspoken Republicans who would see the increasingly negative spirit of McCain/Palin and turn to Obama.... AND... those who would FINALLY sense the purpose for Obama's leadership for such a time as this and publically announce it to the world!

    I predict MORE will come from the Republican side!

    October 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Kentucky Woman

    Buckley makes very good sense. It's nice to know there are conservatives who can see what's best for the country.

    Obama / Biden '08

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Sety

    Excellent decision. Smart Move. Thanks Mr. Buckley.

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  14. FRAN

    finally, a republican with common sense.

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. CM

    Go Buckley! Let's not look at labels such as conservative, liberal, maverick, socialist, etc but let's look forward to what's good for our country's future and vote for the best team which would be 'that one'!

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Oregon calling

    Now this "My Friends" is news!

    Thank you for the endorsement!!!!!!!

    Obama / Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    Welcome aboard, sir. Unlike the other party, our party respects all individuals regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or politcal party.

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. MAC

    God bless you Mr Buckley!

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. jason, tx

    welcome aboard their Buck

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Tracy

    Thank you for stating it like it is – McCain is not the man we knew in 2000. All I see and hear in all of the ads, interviews and "hate" rallies is a very confused, angry and frustrated man. Sad footnote .......

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Good for you Mr. Buckley. I agree, John McCain has sold his soul.

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. voting 4 that one!

    Thank god 4 conservative with common sense. I am disgusted by the show McCain and Palin are putting at their rallies. It explains why these country is falling apart right under our nose. I am really worried that one of these fools at the rally would feel it is patriotic to take matters in their own hand. I never expected this from McCain.

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. linda from South Dakota

    thank you buckley, for your positive commetns,,, hopefully more and more people will think this through and vhg their minds on voting,,, its people like you that can chg peoples mind,,,, give them in-sight on good things,,,, i have said this all along ,, that people need to do their searches for info,, mccain has been very irratic,, and flip-flopping like crazy,,,,(maybe its his age) but obama has great points and like he always says,, with your help,, we can do it,,, and we willl yes we can,, obama/biden 08 and beyond

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. Sam Benegal

    Thank you Mr. Buckley.

    GM (General Motors)- once the Omnipoint symbol of American Industrial might is trading in stock market lowest level since 1950. In Clinton era stock value was as high as $90, now merely $5.00.

    The entire GM market capitalization value is now $2.6 billion, less than it was 1929 beginning of great depression....

    I remember back in mid 60's my dad was happy with Chevy Bel Air...

    We can be republican's, democrats. But we are all Americans...Think before you vote.

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Gloria

    Welcome to the winning team!!!

    October 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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