Wednesday 25 April 2018

Did you hear the one about Bono and the president?

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

IT was a worthy gathering of some of the world's most powerful people – but it was Bono's unexpectedly uncanny impression of Bill Clinton that stole the show.

Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim were amongst guests at the Clinton Global Initiative in new York who rocked with laughter at the U2 frontman's impersonation as they awaited the late arrival of the former US president.

President Clinton with wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea, at the Clinton Global Initiative
President Clinton with wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea, at the Clinton Global Initiative

In a quavering southern voice, Bono spoke jokingly of Clinton's first encounter with him where he had actually thought Bono was the roadie.

FAMILIAR

"He wasn't really dressed right. I felt like the rock star on that occasion," said 'Clinton' aka Bono, leaning casually back in his seat in the familiar manner of the former world leader.

Attendees laughed but made uncertain eye contact with one another.

IMF director Christine Lagarde laughs at Bono's impression of Bill Clinton
IMF director Christine Lagarde laughs at Bono's impression of Bill Clinton

"But you know, we got to work on it and the foundation did incredible work, right now we've got affordable AIDs drugs for everybody all over the world so sometimes these talking shops do come good," continued Bono – with a pointed barb directed at critics of his 'good works.'

"No, no, it's David Letterman," joked Bono, as Clinton loomed in the background.

Amongst those in attendance was controversial former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, spotted talking with Cherie Blair.

Speakers included President Obama, Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Bill, Hillary and also Chelsea Clinton, as Vice-Chairperson of the Clinton Foundation.

Guests included Al Gore, Muhtar Kent, chairman of the Coca-Cola company, and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Kathy Calvin.

The theme of the gathering, which will continue until tomorrow, is Mobilising for Impact, encouraging leaders to go beyond making commitments to social change and identifying strategies to lasting success.

The Clinton Foundation claims CGI members have made nearly 2000 commitments which have already improved the lives of 300 million people and which when fully funded will be valued at over €46bn.

Irish Independent

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