While I don’t agree with Bono’s politic’s he has been consistent in keeping politics out of his charity work and concerts. Gotta hand it to him, one of the few in the music or movie industry who actually praised Bush when he deserved it. Looks like he’s pissed at Hillary tho:
The Irish rock star, Bono, has been angered by Senator Hillary Clinton’s use of a U2 concert this week to raise funds for her political campaign coffers – even though he is a good friend of her husband, Bill.
“U2 concerts are categorically not fund-raisers for any politician. They are rock concerts for U2 fans,” said his close associate, Jamie Drummond, who runs Data, the Third World advocacy group set up by Bono with Sir Bob Geldof.
“If any political fund-raising events take place at a U2 concert, it is without the involvement or knowledge of Data, U2 or Bono.”
Mrs Clinton, the frontrunner to be the Democrat candidate for the White House in 2008, is charging 18 guests $2,500 (?1,400) a head to join her in a luxury box for the sold out show in Washington on Wednesday. Despite U2’s public criticism, she is pressing on with the fund-raiser, which will bring in $45,000 for an outlay of about $7,000 on the box, and her staff are unapologetic.
“We do a meet-and-greet with the senator and then go in and listen to the music,” said her spokesman, Ann Lewis.
Rick Santorum, a conservative Republican senator and critic of Mrs Clinton, is also taking advantage of a U2 concert, tomorrow night in Philadelphia, to raise funds.
He has block-booked 66 tickets which he is selling for $1,000 each and his aides said that he too would go ahead with the fund-raiser. Although Bono decided to make no direct comment of his own, he saw Mr Drummond’s critical statement before it was issued.
The complaint was an unusually public criticism of the growing trend in American political fund-raising of using access to sold-out concerts and sports events to woo wealthy contributors. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California and former Terminator star, charged donors $100,000 each to share a private box with him for a Rolling Stones concert.
The rebuke for Mrs Clinton is all the more striking as Bono has worked closely with her husband, the former president, on issues such as increasing aid to Africa, relieving the debt of the world’s poorest countries and HIV/Aids projects. He has also co-operated closely with President George W Bush and Tony Blair.
Mrs Clinton is in California this weekend for a series of celebrity-hosted Hollywood fund-raisers. The director Rob Reiner hosted a $500-a-person reception on Friday evening and yesterday it was the turn of the producer Bruce Cohen (who won an Oscar for American Beauty) to throw a $1,000-a-head brunch.
The former First Lady is a prodigious fund-raiser. She has already collected $12.5 million for her Senate re-election campaign, of which $6 million poured in over the past three months.
Other potential 2008 Democrat presidential candidates, including 2004 loser John Kerry, have also been swinging through Hollywood as the traditionally liberal bastion recovers from its depression at last year’s defeat – spurred on by recent setbacks suffered by the Bush administration. “Donors are as motivated now as I’ve ever seen them,” said the Democrat political consultant Chad Griffin.
The Clintons remain the biggest Democrat draw in Hollywood. But a gala fund-raiser in 2000 attended by the likes of Cher and Diana Ross for Mrs Clinton’s Senate battle came back to haunt her as her finance manager was accused of breaking campaign funding rules. He was recently acquitted, but the involvement of a convicted felon in organising the event raised questions about how the Clinton camp vets donors.
The buzz about a possible Clinton run for the presidency increased last week with the publication of two books predicting success for her in 2008.
In one, Susan Estrich, a friend of the Clintons, is a strong cheerleader for the ex-First Lady; in the other, Dick Morris, a former aide to her husband, says she would be a disaster and argues that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, should be drafted to thwart her.