15 October 2008

Not my dad's GOP: Buckley leaves National Review

NEW YORK (AP) — A week after endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, Christopher Buckley, a writer and son of William F. Buckley Jr., is leaving National Review, the conservative magazine founded by his father more than 50 years ago.

"Within hours of my endorsement appearing in The Daily Beast it became clear that National Review had a serious problem on its hands," Buckley wrote in a blog posted Tuesday on http://www.thedailybeast.com, the online broadsheet founded by Tina Brown.

"So the next morning, I thought the only decent thing to do would be to offer to resign my column there. This offer was accepted — rather briskly! — by Rich Lowry, NR's editor, and its publisher, the superb and able and fine Jack Fowler."

Buckley, a best-selling novelist who had been a featured columnist at the National Review, infuriated conservatives last week by declaring himself "the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon."

He criticized Republican John McCain as "irascible and snarly" and credited Obama with having "a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect."

"It's a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They'd cut off my allowance," he wrote for The Daily Beast.

(William F. Buckley Jr., a founder of the modern conservative movement, and his longtime wife, Pat, both died within the past two years.)

On his blog posting Tuesday, Christopher Buckley — whose books include "Thank You for Smoking" and the recent "Supreme Courtship" — said he had received a great deal of angry e-mails and observed that "conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it's a big tent. Looks more like a yurt to me."

Lowry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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