|Feb. 18th, 2008 01:07 pm LENT DAY 14 Bush in Africa|
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History will be kinder to President Bush than popular culture. A picture speaks a thousand worlds.
Bob Geldof in Rwanda gives Bush his props
KIGALI, Rwanda — Bob Geldof has parachuted into the White House travel pool here in Rwanda, and will join us on the flight from Air Force One to Ghana tonight.
He's going to interview President Bush for Time magazine and several European outlets, such as Liberacion, about aid to Africa for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and business development.
Mr. Geldof is an Irish rock and roll singer and longtime social activist who has helped, along with U2 rocker Bono, raise awareness about need in Africa. His most well known achievement is organizing the Live Aid concert in 1985, which raised money for debt relief for poor African countries.
But Mr. Geldof has remained closely engaged with African affairs since then, and he spoke off the cuff to reporters today who were waiting for a press conference with Mr. Bush and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Mr. Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement.
Mr. Bush, said Mr. Geldof, "has done more than any other president so far."
"This is the triumph of American policy really," he said. "It was probably unexpected of the man. It was expected of the nation, but not of the man, but both rose to the occasion."
"What's in it for [Mr. Bush]? Absolutely nothing," Mr. Geldof said.
Mr. Geldof said that the president has failed "to articulate this to Americans" but said he is also "pissed off" at the press for their failure to report on this good news story.
"You guys didn't pay attention," Geldof said to a group of reporters from all the major newspapers.
Bush administration officials, incidentally, have also been quite displeased with some of the press coverage on this trip that they have viewed as overly negative and ignoring their achievements.