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