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A Buckley for Obama

By Howard Kurtz
"It's a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They'd cut off my allowance," Christopher Buckley writes.

What dastardly act would prompt such a response from William F. and Patricia Buckley?

Their son endorsed Barack Obama today.

The New York author knows he's not a big political player. As he writes on Tina Brown's new Web site, the Daily Beast: "The only reason my vote would be of any interest to anyone is that my last name happens to be Buckley -- a name I inherited. So in the event anyone notices or cares, the headline will be: 'William F. Buckley's Son Says He Is Pro-Obama.' I know, I know: It lacks the throw-weight of 'Ron Reagan Jr. to Address Democratic Convention,' but it'll have to do."

Buckley says he has known John McCain for 25 years and once wrote a speech for him. But he says the senator from Arizona has changed: "A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises ... His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless."

As for Obama, the self-described libertarian says he likes the Democrat's books and his temperament: "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."

Posted at 4:43 PM ET on Oct 10, 2008  | Category:  Media Notes
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This is a stunning endorsement for Barack Obama.
Christopher Buckley and I are related by marriage through his uncle.
In our family, the standard rule has been NO discussion of politics for obvious reasons.
I'm a life-long Democrat, as my father before me, while the Buckleys have been very visible conservative Republicans.
The choice in this election is a no-brainer.
John McCain said months ago that he didn't know much about the economy (no surprise, since he got himself embroiled in the destruction of the savings and loan industry precisely because he didn't understand economic forces) and he has that ignorance on full display right now.
Anyone who understands economics knows that John McCain will never be able to fulfill his campaign promises and that, in the effort to do so, he will make our current dismal economic situation one-heck of a whole lot worse than it is now.
Further, McCain's personality, as he has been campaigning, is significantly off-kilter to manage this kind of crisis.
We need a thoughtful, steady leader who LISTENS to advisors and asks the questions which need to be answered *BEFORE*, not after, the action is taken.
With McCain, all we would have is more of the same reactive hysteria we have seen ever since Paulson dropped this bomb in the well of Congress, begging our national legislature to clean up the tangled mess sown by the Bush cabal and their irresponsible administration.
Notice McCain absolutely REFUSES to confront the out-of-control "off-budget" defense spending mechanism set up by Bush and buddies.
That's why Barack Obama is gaining ground everywhere.
People know that Obama will provide the leadership we need to stabilize the credit markets and bring some sanity back to our country so we can get on with our lives.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | October 14, 2008 3:01 PM

In reality, Buckley probably enjoys the "Obama Backer" designation more than last week's "Deadbeat Dad". With the mother of his mentally disabled son doing everything she can to get an increase in support it's likely that story wasn't going away, but he was able to "head her off at the pass" as it were. By diverting attention away from that story with this shocking announcement he has taken away her steam, and if we have learned anything from Anna Nicole Smith it is that being a popular story helps to fuel a lawsuit. I don't mean to say that a single mother going after more money for her mentally disabled child is in any way similar to Anna Nicole's gold-digging, simply that the cases stemmed from a similar root...wanting a piece of an estate they weren't entitled to. Secondarily, I am sure Buckley finds it easier to be ridiculed by the Right rather than disgust anyone who has a simple understanding of what is right and wrong.

Posted by: belicoso1 | October 13, 2008 4:15 PM

Buckley is an idiot.
McCain is exactly what he always was--which was never pretty--and Bam is not what Buckley thinks he is. You are two for two.
Nice that Buckley admires the man who wrote the books, but that would be Bill Ayers, who is technically not running for President. Technically. Bam only reads or memorizes scripts.
As the Obama campaign said recently, Obama has not spoken to or texted Bill Ayers in over a year. That's a lot of information to volunteer.
Memo to Chris: Your daddy didn't start to get goofy until he was in his sixties.

Posted by: jamzw | October 11, 2008 11:27 AM

Gator-ron wrote:

Buckley's description of the changes in McCain sounds like early dementia. It was hidden from us with Reagan in 1984. McCain's health records are not an open book.

-----------------------------------

They might have tried to hide it but I was saying it back then. People thought I was simply making a cynical joke, but I wasn't.

The real clincher for me was when Reagan started recounting the story about a bombing mission he was on. I was like, what the heck? He didn't serve in the Air Corp? It turned out he was reminiscing about a scene from a movie he was in!

Posted by: wes1155 | October 11, 2008 5:37 AM

"they'll be glad to rid themselves of all those annoying elitist intellectuals"

The era of George W. Bush and Barack Obama indicate another realignment of the two parties. In the era of Buckley and Goldwater, the Republicans were the party of intellectualism, statesmanship, and sensible economic management. Now they're the populists, the loudmouth nativist party that hates intellectuals and disdains nuance. If you're a thinking person these days, you probably won't find a home in the GOP, and the last old school Republicans--George Will, for example, or Bill Safire--are increasingly finding themselves at the margins of the conservative movement. This is John McCain's real problem: that the Republican party has grown increasingly inhospitable to his type of Republican.

Posted by: bc54321 | October 10, 2008 9:33 PM

"Just curious if WP has any interest reporting the massive voter fraud going on with ACORN, and the fact that BO paid them 800 grand this election cycle? Isn't it hard to maintain credibility if you continue to ignore these unpleasant facts. ...............I know it isn't pro-Obama, it is called unbiased reporting.

Posted by: thejaner | October 10, 2008 4:46 PM "
----
There is no massive voter fraud, it appears that there is voter REGISTRATION fraud, it is common, not unique to ACORN.

Also it is not "massive" there are about 300 registrations that appear to be fraudulent, I'm sure there are more.

One cannot vote more than once, so registration fraud does not subvert the democratic process.

And..the Obama campaign has not given $800k to ACORN. That is simply not true.

Posted by: JRM2 | October 10, 2008 8:08 PM

thejaner, yes they do.

Posted by: TheDiplomat | October 10, 2008 8:07 PM

Buckley's description of the changes in McCain sounds like early dementia. It was hidden from us with Reagan in 1984. McCain's health records are not an open book.

His shuffling around on the stage in the town hall and his reference to Obama as that one could also be signs of the affliction. It could be a reason why his wife seems to be with him all the time at campaign rallies.

His medical records should be a campaign issue. Maybe there is a deal between McCain and Obama no race for no age attacks. I do not know. But clearly there is something wrong with McCain.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 10, 2008 6:18 PM

"Et tu, Chris?

Buckley's an utter fraud. It's one thing for a conservative or libertarian to say they can't vote for McCain. But to support an overt socialist who has visible disdain for the first two Amendments is well beyond the pale. - Posted by: info42 "

Agree almost completely with your assessment.

I wouldn't go so far as to call him an utter fraud; Buckley I mean. I do consider Obama as an utter fraud.

Posted by: pKrishna43 | October 10, 2008 5:49 PM

See how they run .... away from McCain and the stench of defeat.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 10, 2008 5:27 PM

The Republican Party keeps getting smaller. I'm sure they'll be glad to rid themselves of all those annoying elitist intellectuals, though. Being smart is pretty close to being a Communist or a Terrorist, according to recent Republican dogma, which has come to the conclusion that Intelligence is somehow un-American.

Posted by: nodebris | October 10, 2008 5:11 PM

Buckley never stooped to the Dark Arts of Rovian politics - Buckley was a master of intellect and humor. McCain does not get it. ...............
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/10/06/mccain-the-dark-arts-of-rovian-politics/

Posted by: glclark4750 | October 10, 2008 5:01 PM

Et tu, Chris?

Buckley's an utter fraud. It's one thing for a conservative or libertarian to say they can't vote for McCain. But to support an overt socialist who has visible disdain for the first two Amendments is well beyond the pale.

Perhaps his latest novel's tanking and he's looking to increase sales.

Posted by: info42 | October 10, 2008 5:00 PM

Just curious if WP has any interest reporting the massive voter fraud going on with ACORN, and the fact that BO paid them 800 grand this election cycle? Isn't it hard to maintain credibility if you continue to ignore these unpleasant facts. ...............I know it isn't pro-Obama, it is called unbiased reporting.

Posted by: thejaner | October 10, 2008 4:46 PM

Ronald P. Reagan is not technically a "Jr."

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 10, 2008 4:45 PM

The language McCain and Palin are using: "radical," "palling around with terrorists," "willing co-conspirators" is growing more heated by the day. It's language that's compounded by the "dangerous" commercials McCain is running across the country. It's the kind of language that you use in describing an enemy in wartime. It's the kind of language that not only excuses violence, but encourages it. More and more it sounds as if McCain has inhaled the ghost of Joseph McCarthy and is exhaling the fevered rancor of Charles Coughlin.


The "Straight Talk Express" long ago left the station. "Country First" is the last thing on their minds. Nothing remains of John McCain's campaign but a tight little ball of festering hate. Considering the volatile nature of the country at the moment, and the fear so many are facing as they watch their life savings evaporate, that hate is all too easy to spread. There are millions of Americans looking for someone to blame for this disaster, and McCain is desperate to give them a target. He's said many times that he wants to reach across the aisle, and he's doing that, but he's holding a knife in his hand.


Maybe it's guilt over McCain's decades of voting for and evangelizing for the deregulation that brought on the crisis. Maybe he's desperate that the mob not look at his own record for the source of their troubles. Maybe he's simply angry because he sees his chance slipping away. Whatever it is, it's ugly. And getting uglier. Any decent candidate -- any decent human being -- would be working now to tamp down that ire, not raise it.


What McCain is doing is no more responsible than tossing lighted matches into a tinder dry forest. Someone is going to get burned.


Here's some more straight-talk, my friends:
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJThPjvscFs
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 10, 2008 4:45 PM

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