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Posted at 04:45 PM ET, 04/29/2012

George Clooney works hard at Correspondents' dinner, makes it look easy

Clooney, center, chats up New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at the Bloomberg Vanity Fair White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner afterparty (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
We have so much to learn from George Clooney: As thousands of guests tried to bolt from the ballroom of the Washington Hilton at the end of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — in a mad rush for the after-parties or the taxi line — Clooney stayed at his table and poured another glass of wine. [UPDATE: Scenes from WHCD weekend, 4/29/12]

Clooney doing the posing-with-fans thing at the dinner. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

It’s not easy to be a celebrity at one of these things, besieged from all sides by fans and distant acquaintances — no, really, that stuff is exhausting! — but the Oscar winner spent the entire dinner posing for photo after photo with every female who could squeeze into a frame with him.

And then he spent the next three hours on his feet — we watched, so we know — schmoozing a parade of VIP guests (Harvey Weinstein, Barbara Walters, Jay Carney) in the front foyer of the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair after party at the French ambassador’s residence, but making it all look like fun.

Why? “If you’re going to commit to do something, you need to do it,” he told us, still going full steam at 2 a.m. In Clooney’s case, that meant talking (mostly election politics) to everyone who approached — and strategically lobbying the people who can help with his pet cause.

Clooney with Colin Powell at the afterparty. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg)
“My job is Sudan,” he said. He cornered Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for 10 minutes at the party; praised Colin Powell for his work in the region. “I’m not a policy guy,” Clooney explained. “I got to have long conversations here with people who make policy. All you’re trying to do is find politicians — from the right or left — who understand an issue and explain it to you. I walked away from conversations finding out things I didn’t know. ”

Make any progress? He grinned. “Nothing — nothing — gets solved at the Correspondents’ dinner. Ever.”

Read related:

White House Correspondents’ parties: You can’t fight it, so just go with the flow (photos), 4/29/12

White House correspondents’ dinner: Where Hollywood, Capitol Hill shine, 4/28/12
President Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech (Video)

Jimmy Kimmel’s White House Correspondents’ speech gets some good laughs (video)

Diane Keaton luuuuurves ‘Annie Hall’ jokes at White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Woody Harrelson, Kate Upton, Charlize Theron brave the crowds at Correspondents’ dinner pre-parties

Read earlier: George Clooney arrested in D.C. outside Sudan embassy, 3/16/12

George Clooney returns to Washington to talk about crisis on Sudan border, 3/14/12

By  |  04:45 PM ET, 04/29/2012

Categories:  White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

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