From Mark Royden Winchell‘s William F. Buckley Jr. — this passage comes just after a discussion of Buckley’s support for the hiring of more black teachers:
Perhaps Buckley’s most extreme please for racial preference came in a January 13, 1970 article in Look in which he argued for the election of a Negro president “in 1980 (or thereabouts) (GL, 181). His point is that such a dramatic gesture would be emotionally liberating for black and white alike. Significantly, the therapeutic candidacy would come not from among the national civil rights establishment, but from among “a class of young Negro leaders who work in the ghettos, in economic cooperatives, in straightforward social work, who are arguing that progress is possible within the System” (GL, 184).
You can find them in Cleveland (some of them will make it a point to be just a little bit rude, just for the record), struggling to do something for Hough; in Detroit, learning the politics of adjustment, throwing their weight around in economic and political maneuvers; in San Francisco, deeply involved in trying to spread an understanding of the role of education as the instrument of liberation; in Los Angeles, calmly (if not openly) countering the witch doctors and practicing a tough-minded idealism (the top people at Watts are brilliant, ingenious, tough, graceful irresistible.
Buckley even anticipates the salvific context of Obama’s support:
There are reasons for urging that final achievement (the black President) which are more important than merely buying the reassurance of American Negroes. They are a form not exactly of white expiation, though I would not dismiss this as a factor in any corporate effort to elect a black President. They are a form of self-assurance. The outstanding charge against America is hypocrisy. … the election of Negro public officials (yes, because they are Negro) is a considerable tonic for the white soul.