Becoming ONE

Coverage in the major media today on the launch of ONE Vote ’08 focuses on politicians reaching across the aisle and Bono’s increasing influence on world politics.

The New York Times reports on the unlikely pairing of former senatorial leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, who were “fierce adversaries” during their time in Congress. They stand united against global poverty as co-chairmen of the One Vote ’08 effort and spoke at yesterday’s launch of the initiative at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.

“It is in the strategic and national interest of the United States of America,” said Mr. Frist, a Republican and former Senate majority leader from Tennessee. “People do not go to war with people who save their children’s lives.”

Both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will be asked to sign a pledge in the fall saying they will offer proposals to fight H.I.V./AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, improve children’s health in other ways, increase access to education, provide access to clean water and reduce by half the number of people who suffer from hunger.

“Through the extraordinary challenge we now have, it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize that this must be a key part of American foreign policy,” said Mr. Daschle, a Democrat and former Senate majority leader from South Dakota.

More here.

ABC reports on Bono’s increasing influence on the world stage, noting the launch of ONE Vote ’08 follows closely on the heels of his presence last week at the G-8 Summit. The story also covers the initiative’s bipartisan support and the significant investment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The number of people whose lives will be affected by the choice you make next November is much higher than the population of America,” said Bono in a video released at the ONE Vote ’08 launch. “Do we have the political will to end this?”

At the campaign’s launch in an Episcopal church, supporters of the campaign joked about Bono’s power.

“I don’t think it’s written in the Bible, but if enough people suffer in the world, rock stars will start crying out,” joked evangelical Pastor Brian McLaren at the campaign launch Monday in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to make sure that every candidate gets asked again and again and again what they’re going to do about poverty,” said McLaren.

CBS and other media outlets have picked up the AP coverage of the event:

For months, scores of volunteers wearing black-and-white ONE T-shirts and carrying placards have been attending presidential debates and some campaign events by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and other Democrats, as well as Republicans such as John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Activity will only increase in the coming months, with town-hall-style events, mailings, a celebrity bus tour and TV advertisements.

For now, the focus is on the early primary states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But the effort eventually will be expanded to the more than dozen states holding contests on Feb. 5, and will continue through the general election.

Read it here.

Stay tuned to the ONE Vote ’08 blog here.

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