George W. Bush Once Mistook U2's Bono For Sonny Bono

George W. Bush and Bono
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President George W. Bush poses with Irish environmental activist and U2 lead singer Bono 06 June 2007 before a meeting at the on the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm, northeastern Germany. Bono, who also met summit host German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is to lobby the US President on aid to Africa on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit.    

Sonny Bono, late California congressman and half of the singing duo Sonny and Cher has a good deal in common with Bono, the guy who sings in U2 and doesn’t really need an introduction. Their names are spelled the same way, they’re both connected to the music world, and…uh… that’s about it.

But that still tripped up former U.S. president George W. Bush, according to HBO and Vice’s new documentary Countdown to Zero. The show is about breakthroughs in the fight against AIDS/HIV, and it discusses Dubya’s collaboration with the U2 frontman on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). 

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"I guess somebody thought it'd be cool to have Bono in the Oval Office,” Bush said in the doc. “They must've had a Bono record or two. I certainly didn't suggest it."

And he didn’t have his Bonos straight at first. 

"Somebody walked in and said 'Bono's coming. You do know who he is?' And then I looked at them and said, 'Sure, he's married to Cher.’” 

But being the well-meaning, gregarious guy he is, Bono soon won the president over with his commitment to the well as the fact that he is the singer of one of the biggest rock bands in the world, not a singer-turned-politician who died in 1998.

George W. Bush left office in 2009 with one of the lowest approval ratings of a U.S. president, but hey, the American people have been missing out on comedy like this ever since.