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In Jersey, Bon Jovi is the hot political ticket 28 December 2007
International Herald Tribune article

Source: International Herald Tribune

He calls her "Mrs. C." And she calls on him to add a little celebrity gloss to her presidential campaign.

The rock singer Jon Bon Jovi and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been friends for more than a decade, uniting for state dinners at the White House and campaign fund-raisers.

If it seems strange that a rocker who sings paeans of working-class New Jersey is so friendly with a senator and former first lady who is using a Celine Dion song as the theme of her presidential campaign, consider a few items on Bon Jovi's social calendar in the last few months.

There were dinners with Clinton and another Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, her fiercest rival for the nomination, asked Bon Jovi to hear him speak in New York. And the former Vice President Al Gore caught up with him in London for a photo op.

Bon Jovi, 45, whose tousled golden mane and porcelain-white smile have twice helped him earn People magazine's award for sexiest rock star, can lay claim to an unofficial new title these days: the New Jersey's elder statesman.

In New Jersey, it is practically a requirement for any high-ranking politician to attend at least one of his shows. And despite his left-leaning political allegiances, Democrats and Republicans alike seek him out as if he were New Jersey's very own Bono.

When a former governor, Christie Whitman, was deciding whether to build a sports arena, she consulted Bon Jovi - part owner of the Arena Football League team the Philadelphia Soul - and took his advice to pass on it. When Newark needed a marquee name to christen the Prudential Center arena, one of its most important new developments in decades, it turned to him.

"He basically says, 'Hey, here's where I'm from, like it or not,' " said Whitman, a Republican who later became administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. "And that's refreshing for the state of New Jersey because we don't have a lot of that."


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