Geldof on Bush: "...you sound like a hippie, for God's sake"

Bob Geldof was talking about not only about the Bush Administration's policies toward helping Africa, but more specifically Bush's personal rhetoric of compassion and caring about the people on the continent.

Prior to boarding, Geldof was probably dreading sharing the plane ride to Africa aboard Air Force One with the man a recent poster on Democratic Underground called, "a f---ing, d--kheaded, a--hole". So, Geldof was probably a bit surprised that the leader of the free world became his new pal. Now, they have their differences, Iraq of course, but other than that struck up an unlikely friendship. Geldof's well-written account in Time Magazine gives a rare behind-the-scenes look at President George Bush at his warm, teasing, funny, and down-right human best - not the cold, evil, right-wing extremist caricature we are used to reading about in the MSM. A very good read.


I gave the President my book. He raised an eyebrow. "Who wrote this for ya, Geldof?" he said without looking up from the cover. Very dry. "Who will you get to read it for you, Mr. President?" I replied. No response.

The Most Powerful Man in the World studied the front cover. Geldof in Africa — " 'The international best seller.' You write that bit yourself?"

"That's right. It's called marketing. Something you obviously have no clue about or else I wouldn't have to be here telling people your Africa story."

It is some story. And I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with cross-party support led by Senators John Kerry and Bill Frist. In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration.
So why doesn't America know about this?

I'll tell you why they don't know about it Bob - because the MSM won't give Bush credit for anything. And they especially won't give him credit for his acts in Africa that are considered a left-wing solution. If the media were to do that it might undermine the MSM template that Bush is a cold-hearted, evil, right-wing extremist. Yes, these acts in Africa are a product of the left - that's why Geldof is so approving. And yes, there is an argument that there is a much better approach. But The FDC is not in the mood today to rain on Messrs. Bush and Geldof's parade so that will be a post for another day.


The Bush regime has been divisive — but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent — but not in Africa. It has created bitterness — but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.

More Geldof, regarding Air Force One:

I'd been asking about the laundry arrangements. How do they get the presidential shirts, socks, undies, etc., done on this thing? I'm used to rock-'n'-roll tours where there's a washing machine and dryers set up backstage, but this is gigging on a whole other level. At least 20 military transporters haul presidential necessities around the planet. At our hotel in Ghana, the porter carrying my bag said they had thrown out all the other guests because "the President of the World was coming."

"Laundry, huh?" the President mused. "Y'know, I've never asked that. I usually just wear the same thing all day, but if I need to change, there's always a room I can go to. Laundry, huh? Is this the interview, Geldof? It's certainly a different technique!"

No comments: