Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bono and Bush: A Cautious Admiration Society

Long-time readers know I'm a huge fan of U2 and its iconoclastic lead singer, Bono, who has the good sense to know he's been blessed, and uses his celebrity to fight the good fight in Africa. Unlike most activist celebrities, Bono is educated and involved with his pet cause, spending time on the ground, lobbying politically, and lending his voice to the DATA project.

Bono has wined and dined with Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms, Billy Graham, and other figures on the right, instead of staying in the comfortable liberal celebrity cocoon, a sign of his seriousness. And he's found an ally in the Bush administration, which is doing more for debt relief and the fight against Aids in Africa than any previous administration by a wide margin. Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard about the partnership forged between the rock star and the President:
"Bono has come to see me," [President Bush] said. "I admire him. He is a man of depth and a great heart who cares deeply about the impoverished folks on the continent of Africa. And I admire his leadership on the issue."...

...Bono has been taken aback by attacks on him for working with the president. But he hasn't backed off. He sent a note of thanks to the White House after the president stuck up for him at the press conference. Several days earlier, Bono ate dinner at Bolten's house along with the Roves and the Gersons. "He's an impressive guy," Gerson says. "He's knowledgeable. He's morally focused. He's also willing to praise the president when he does good things."
Highly recommended...

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