Back when he was the most controversial member of the U.S. Senate, Jesse A. Helms was also half of the oddest couple in American life. The late senator from North Carolina and U2 frontman Bono formed an unlikely political alliance late in the senator's career, to fight AIDS in Africa. Bono and Helms met for dinner before U2 played Chalotte in 2005; And this past Saturday, his widow Dot Helms dropped in on Bono before the band's show at Carter-Finley Stadium. Helms' former chief of staff Jimmy Broughton sends along this picture and report:
She was delighted to see him as Bono and Sen. Helms developed a strong and genuine friendship. Bono walked into the room backstage and greeted Mrs. Helms warmly and said that it was because of "Jesse" that more than 3 million children are alive and on anti-retroviral drugs today in Africa. He's said that before and it's quite genuine. Bono then talked about being in Washington, D.C., last week and seeing some of the Senator's colleagues. Mrs. Helms thanked Bono for his gracious comments when her husband died and also wanted to make sure senators were still helping as "Jesse did." Bono said he's been impressed with some of the new senators and continues to work with those who served with Sen. Helms. He mentioned Vice President Biden and how much he and Sen. Helms worked together to start the process on global AIDS relief. Mrs. Helms commented on how much Biden and the Senator liked each other -- classmates, did not have to always agree to be friends, etc. It was a great meeting and Mrs. Helms really enjoyed it.