Buffett will campaign, in moderation

Published Nov. 18, 2005|Updated Jan. 2, 2006

Singer Jimmy Buffett says he will campaign for only two candidates in the 2006 election: Bill Nelson and Kinky Friedman.

During an appearance at Harvard University to speak to former Sen. Bob Graham's study group, Buffett said he gets many requests for help from Democratic candidates but has decided he will only help Nelson, who is seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate, and Friedman, a singer-author who is making a long-shot bid for governor of Texas.

Buffett said he campaigned last time for Nelson and was happy with the senator's performance on the job. "I think he's been a very good senator for Florida and a voice of moderation," Buffett said in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times. "I like voices of moderation."

Buffett said he wasn't sure whether he would raise money for Nelson or just make campaign appearances, as he has done for former Gov. Lawton Chiles, Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton.

"I don't know what I'm doing yet (for Nelson). I'm just going to get actively involved," he said.

Buffett said he was backing Friedman because "he's an old friend of mine and he wrote a great review of my book in the (New York) Times. "I like what he's doing."

Buffett came to Harvard to speak about politics and music to a study group headed by Graham, a former senator, who has a one-year fellowship at the university.

Buffett told the students that countries are like rock 'n' roll bands, with three basic types:

democratic (with a small D) bands with four equal members who each want to kill each other;

benevolent dictatorships (he puts himself and his Coral Reefer Band in that category);

the ego-centric band, which has a leader "who doesn't give a damn about anybody else."