Bush, Bono Have Lunch at the White House



In town for a concert, U2 rock star Bono was invited to lunch Wednesday with the president. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the meeting at the executive residence would be a follow-up on talks he had with President Bush in July at the G-8 summit in Scotland.

"They had a very good discussion about some of our common priorities," McClellan said. "Both share a deep commitment to combating AIDS, preventing malaria and expanding trade to lift people out of poverty."

McClellan said Bono also planned to meet with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley later in the day, before U2's concert at the MCI Center. The spokesman laughingly told reporters that Mr. Bush was not planning to attend the concert.

Bono and Bob Geldof, the organizer of the Live 8 concerts, met in July with Mr. Bush - along with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin -- to try to bolster support for African aid.

Blair wanted agreement to double aid for Africa to $50 billion by 2010 and for the G-8 nations to further commit to a target of providing foreign aid equal to 0.7 percent of their economy.

At that time, Bono told reporters, "We had some very tough meetings here today, some risks being taken on both sides. It is equally unhip, it turns out, for the politicians to be hanging out with us as it is for us to be hanging out with them."

Mr. Bush announced in June that he will seek to double Africa aid to more than $8.6 billion by 2010, but private aid groups say this included some money already pledged and would fall short by about $6 billion of the amount needed as America's share to get to the $50 billion total. Mr. Bush has also rejected setting a 0.7 percent target for aid.

Bono has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for international social justice efforts that include trying to persuade rich nations to relieve the debt of poor nations.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


That's awesome! I watched footage of Saddam's trial today, and wondered why Pres. Bush was "too busy to be reached for comment" Turns out, he was having lunch with Bono!! Love it! Rock on Bono!

Bono is an idiot. I wonder who the hell he really thinks he is to say he is speaking for anyone else other than himself. I'm sure his car is worth more than an entire tribe would need to survive its lifetime. What an egotistical prick. All these people are the same way though. They don’t know shit about politics, economy, and science or basically about anything other than standing around like the underdeveloped chimps they are. They pay people to inform them and then spout off like they actually understood what they where told to say. Geesh. If he wants to help the world he can trade in his lavish life style to sit in a two room apartment like myself and possibly... oh this may be going a little too far, but actually learn to think for himself. In fact, here’s an idea, I’ll donate a few thousand dollars if he’ll get his rat like face out of the damn news paper and admit he’s just another mindless twat. It’s a real credit to society to use starving people to make an imbecile look meaningful.

Bono isn't asking us to give our money. The sale of one car isn't going to change anything, either. Bono isn't speaking for anyone other than himself...he is speaking for the human condition. You don't have to interview a 1,000 Africans to see what they want done. You just know. It's in the air. You've already given your money (taxes). It's up to us to urge our government officials to *spend* it on things that matter. Like life or death.

I didn´t like much Bono ,at first,but man! look what he had done! He´s the hero of our times, but I would like that the man would be more down to earth.
But man! I would love the man for the years to come,
He deserves like no one the Nobel prize.

I bet they disagreed on a lot of things too. As it's mutually 'unhip' to be around each other, they are from different backgrounds, and Bono totally doesn't have to give a damn about the human condition, but he does. Bush totally has to give a damn about the human condition, but it sometimes seems he doesn't...

i'm so proud of u Bono.I'm african(mozambique)i love u2 i love your acts and i'm so happy that u care about that you care about us.Keep on,walk on my friend and never give up, ok? thank you 4 everything you've done so far.

Shannon, I think It is clear who the real idiot is, at least he is doing something with whatever platform he has and is trying make good use of his time while he has our undevided attention for two hours or so, you should be a shamed of yourself and do your research before you express your pathetic comments.. bono and u2 are responsible for billions of dollars being raised for numerous charities. what have you done to contribute but give us your meaningless opinion. U2 is and will always be the greatist rock band EVER!!!!!! for more reasons than thier music..

No Bruno, Debbie has it spot on right about Bono. The guy is a musician, and arguably a good one. He should stick to that. Music is his business, it's what he knows, and it has been very good to him. I agree with Debbie that if this man truly cared about the causes he touts, he indeed would tone his lifestyle down considerably and give HIS millions to relief efforts in addition to asking every government and political leader who'll give him a moment of time to do all the financial work. It is possible to live modestly and still generate considerable income that could go directly to charity. Instead of doing that though, Bono chooses to spend thousands of dollars on those ridiculous sunglasses, Armani suits, and let's not forget his massive estate home(s). I would have allot more respect for the man if he simply practiced what he preaches... and if he'd ditch the glasses. Oh and as a parting shot, once again I have to agree with Debbie, he does have a rat-face.

I think Bono is, in fact, a great man. His toughts and acts are amazing and encouraging. I love U2 and I´m a huge fan of Bono.

I think Bono is great, have been a huge u2 fan for years and he is a fantastic musician and yeap he has done well, but at the same time he has worked hard to get where he is and i think its fantastic how he has worked on the project of live8 and live aid many years ago, it shows real committment within his music and politics of the world, I say good luckto Bono keep continuing the good work and hopefully watch the positive changes for the future!

ok so a few of you wanna have a go at bono for trying to help millions of starving africans,have you ever thought that he's doing this because he can,i say again because hes in a position to make people look up and listen to people in the public eye.no one listens to the ordinary man on the street and if your so concerned about bono sticking to what he knows best(music) why dont you tell that to Sir Bob Geldof where the hell are the boomtown rats now what the hell does he know at least bono's band is still in the public eye and probably the best rock band in the world.If bono was a no one why the hell does president george bush want dinner with him.

Jackass above had two complaints: 1) Bono doesn't know what he's talking about in any arena but music and so he should stick to music, and 2) he's rich so he's not sincere about helping the people he pretends to be trying to help.

1) I've heard comments from people in the political arena, including Andrew Card, about Bono's extensive knowledge in the area of IMF and debt relief. He's not some poser trying to save the world. He's picked an issue, not a very sexy issue, and attacked it with all he's got. He calls it his life's work. Bono isn't the one who is talking from a position of ignorance, Jackass is.

2) Jackass says Bono should stop wearing the glasses and donate more of his personal money to charity. Jackass has a simple view of the world's economic problems. The world isn't screwed up because people buy $200 sunglasses. It's screwed up because we've allowed our market mechanisms to exist without accounting for economic externalities that we eventually find troubling, like poverty and pollution,

Accounting for those externalities is not simple, but as long as our economic machine functions as it does, no amount of money raised by rock stars buying fewer pairs of designer sunglasses will make any difference.

That said, he understands the paradox of his wealth. "I don't believe in riches, but you should see where I live." The paradox is just that, though. It seems inconsistent, but it isn't. We don't solve Africa's problems by tightening our spending. That's actually going to have the opposite effect. By contracting our economy we'll reduce the economic power we have to bring the poor 5,000,000,000 humans into the better conditions enjoyed by the 1,000,000,000 lucky humans.

Jackass just likes to spout self righteous drivel. It's easier than figuring shit out, I suppose.

Jack...took the words right out of my mouth...Changing his lifestyle and selling his cars and donating a couple of millions is not gonna help. Bono, instead of raising little money for africa, uses his position to convince Bush and others to utilize the rich countries' money to help those in need. That is not a donation of a couple of millions, those are billions and more which ACTUALLY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.....

You guys are ignorant sorry excuses of human beings. Bono is the greatest humanitarian of anyone I know of in the music or acting industry. He spends countless time on helping the less fortunate and should be honored such as I honor him. There's no comparison between anyone else with what Bono has done to make the world a better place and it's too bad you people can't look past your sheer ignorance and see what President Bush and Bono are doing for this world. Rock on Bono!

Shannon, you said...."Bono is not asking for our money".."you've already given your money (taxes)"...I think you're just playing dumb, or maybe being dishonest. I'm sure you understand that if our tax money is sent to Africa, more taxes have to be collected. And, yes, Bono is a hippocrit for chastizing Americans for not sacrificing enough. He probably donates a portion of his wealth. He is apparently still living a life of pleasure most of us have never even gotten a taste of. When he is willing to give enough of his fortune that it actually causes him to make some personal sacrifice come talk to me.

Bono is no idiot. He is a soulful singer and a clever lyricist. He is really not much of a musician, as he does not play any instrument very well, but then again, U2 has never played technically complicated music, but instead inspired us with feeling and soul. What he is most these days is a keen marketer who knows that by representing himself as a man with a cause, he can sell more records. Pictures with a president, a prime minister, or a queen are great for generating wealth - Just ask the Stones, Elvis, The Beatles, Sting and everybody else who has been on the rubber chicken world leader circuit. These days Africa sells and Bono knows it. Bono talks about Africa and helping the poor in a wistful, dreamy way that avoids all of the real conflicts and complexities - This is genius! God bless him and his capitalist dream. I am sure that Bono knows this, but that it would detract from his lamenting commercial message - Bono must understand that to really help the downtrodden masses in Africa, one would need to understand the inner-workings between the classes of real Africans. It would complicate his headlines if he explained that Africa is the same as it always was. Bono certainly knows that he and the rest of the Hollywood actors, musicians, and sports personalities, who seem of late to be the voices that guide our hapless collective thought, are too insignificant to have any real collective impact on the dark continent. Thousands of years of history created the complex situation in Africa, and Bono knows that hours upon hours of private moments with Rev. Desmond Tutu cannot change anything. Africa is where brothers sell brothers into slavery, indigenous poachers kill endangered species, the rich steal from the poor and send the oil and diamond riches to Swiss bank accounts, African middlemen divert contributed health supplies, food, and funds for personal gain, backroom deals are made between African government representatives and foreigners to defraud the African governments and the African people every day, companies from countries like the USA, France, South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, China, and others make secret deals to sell weapons and war machinery, while the African power brokers as well as the foreign companies pocket the profits. Which companies sold 33,000,000 land mines to the conflicting sides in the Angolan civil war, Bono? Why did 1 million black Africans die in the Angolan civil war Bono? So that the world powers could divide the diamonds and the oil with the upper class Africans? Bono, do you realize that until you solve all of these problems that you will not be able to feed these people? Why are people starving in Chad, Bono? Because there is not enough food, Bono? No!!!!! There is plenty of food! The problem is that the Africans themselves do not care if Africans die! The governments of the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Canada, and all of the rest do not care if Africans die. Debt Relief??? Are you kidding? No, you are not, because that keeps the story simple. There is plenty of money to forgive every cent of African debt, and plenty more on top of that. If Bono really wanted to forgive the debt, he would propose finding the lost money, but that would detract from the commercial interest in his plea. That is why Bono does not propose raiding the personal european bank accounts of the African Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Ministers, Senators, Governors, Representatives, Judges, National Oil Company Presidents and adminstrators, Army Generals, Colonels, and Police Chiefs in every African country. That is why he does not propose raiding the local bank accounts of the African Administrative Officials, African Police Officers, Customs Officials, Customs Brokers, Bureaucrats, and all other African Politicians. He certainly would not suggest auditing every multinational company doing business in Africa, including Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, Texaco, DeBeers, Toyota, IBM, General Mills, General Motors, Minolta, General Electric, France Telecom, Vodephone, Samsung, Sony, Deutche Telecom, and on and on. Does Bono really care? Bono, go to Africa and get out of your limo and help one African or one family carry a jug of water so that they can wash the dishes, and then write another song about it, bro! Repeat after me: It's commercial!!!!! It's commercial!!!!!!!! It's commercial!!!!!!! . . .

The way I see it it's simple. U2 have given something very beautiful to the world. For this they've earned their money. It's up to them how they want to spend it ... and as far as I can see there shouldn't be too many complaints about that. For someone like Bono, his fame and the thousand dollar sunglasses and Armani suits that go with it are all tickets to the tables he needs to sit at. I don't imagine he really enjoys sitting at the same table as the likes of George Bush, much as he credits him in "U2 by U2" for having a sense of humour etc. But he suffers it for what he believes in. U2 could rightfully just sit on their fat asses, getting stoned, having sex with groupies and releasing an endless string of "best of" albums, but they don't. Not only do they keep breaking the mould by producing listenable albums every couple of years, but Bono actually seems to care about people who need caring about. Probably more than can be said for most of us fans. If any critics out there think they can do better, then put up or shut up.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 19, 2005 4:33 PM.

Bono Unhappy With Santorum, Clinton was the previous entry in this blog.

I Get The Picture is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID