Monday, November 08, 2004

Bono: "George Bush delivered on his promise"

(Hat tip: Jeffrey Overstreet) The Sunday Times had this lengthy interview with the members of U2 on the release of their new album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb."

I have to admit that I've never been a big fan of U2. I've enjoyed their music, but in spite of having the largest CD collection of anyone I know, I don't own a single U2 CD. Part of that is certainly because of the ubiquity of U2. Their worldwide popularity virtually guarantees that they'll never go out of print. But WideAwake or Careen may not be around next year, so I figure I'd better snap up those CDs right away.
I reason that I will always be able to purchase any U2 CD.

And part of it, of course, is my generation's suspicion of anything popular. (Which is why advertisers pretty much ignored Baby Busters and moved on to Gen Xers whom they perceived as more maleable. But that's a topic for another entry. If only I could find my notes.)

Typically, I digress.

I'm passing this along because Bono had a few things to say about Tony Blair and George Bush. And for U2's fans, his comments may come as a surprise:

. . . Bono tells me: "Tony Blair's just asked me to do an address at the conference." I tell him I don't think he should do that. He looks bemused and tells me that Mandela and Clinton had done this same spot for an international speaker. I tell him that they had everything to gain and nothing to lose, and why would he want to align himself with a party that is now alienating so many people? He says: "I am happy to stand alongside him and say I believe in him. I think he's one of the greatest leaders the UK has ever had. He has done extraordinary things for his country. There has to be applause. So far, it's my job to give him applause for what he's done, even though I didn't agree with the war. He believed in it, and isn't it extraordinary for a British prime minister to do something that was unpopular with the British people and his own cabinet and his Labour base?"

Don't worry, lefty U2 fans! Bono adds:

"I believe that he is sincere... But sincerely wrong."

About President Bush there is this:

Would he do an address for President Bush at a Republican convention? "Not so close to an election, but I've been in photographs with Bush after he made a commitment to the biggest increase in AIDS assistance for many years. I am not a cheap date, but it's my job to turn up for the photograph if they're ready to cut the ribbon."

. . .

"I have to say George Bush really did deliver on his promise to getting more help for AIDS in Africa. I was told it would be unachievable, but it was not. And I have to say I found him very funny. There I am, sitting in his car next to him in his motorcade, chatting and thinking I could be arguing for the rest of my life with him on lots of subjects. So I just looked at the most powerful man in the free world as he waved at the crowd, and I said, 'So you are pretty popular round here?' and he goes, 'It wasn't always so. See, when I first came here, people used to wave at me with one finger.'"

And there's another snapshot of our president, demonstrating just how self-posessed and easygoing he can be.

Just think: while the Dems chased after the youth vote in futility, Karl Rove could have had them in his pocket if he'd just been able to convince Bono to do a few ads. (Though it would have been nice to have heard more about the President's commitment to the AIDS crisis in Africa. The Dems got away with a lot of false slander at their convention on that topic.)


At 11:13 PM, Blogger The Anchoress said...

I am a U2 fan who has had her ups and downs with Bono - but he has been, I think, very fair to Bush and Blair, so I give him props for that. Most rock folk will simply follow the rest of their peers. But then again, Bono IS the 800 lb. gorilla who can sit wherever he wants. Still, good for him.


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