Sure, seeing John Thune campaign for Mitt Romney was expected. Romney needed help in Iowa and a Midwest conservative star like Thune was a good fit before the caucus that kicked off the 2012 presidential race.
But Thune and Bono, the Irish rock star, lead singer of U2 and oh-so-active activist who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times? That seemed unlikely. Would those two men spend time together discussing hunger and AIDS in Africa?
Turns out, yes. As I reported in Monday’s Mitchell Daily Republic, Thune is part of a congressional delegation spending eight days in Africa. The six senators and one congresswoman met with Bono a few days ago, along with Joshua Bolten, the former chief of staff to President George W. Bush who was named interim CEO of ONE, the grassroots effort to relieve extreme poverty that Bono helped found.
Of course, “One” is also a classic U2 song with a message of tolerance and the need for a shared effort on this planet.
This is the kind of work and issues that a senator and a national figure needs to focus on. It can’t all be bashing the other side and bringing bacon home to voters.
President George W. Bush knew how to do the right thing on these issues. Bono has often said Bush was a great ally for Africa.
Thune will talk with me in a few days to offer more details. I look forward to learning more — and finding out what his favorite U2 song is. “Beautiful Day,” maybe?