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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Clooney in the Capitol

George Clooney isn’t a Member of Congress (he just might be too handsome for that), but the Oscar winner showed he has mastered the art of dodging an unwelcome question when he visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

Clooney and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast visited Washington to meet with President Barack Obama and Members of Congress to urge strong diplomatic action in Sudan. The pair recently returned from a trip to the troubled nation, which is teetering on the brink of civil war ahead of a vote to decide whether the country should split into two.

But at a short news conference following a meeting with Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), a reporter changed the subject to ask Clooney a question about his upcoming political thriller, “Farragut North,” and how he foresees the midterm elections playing out.

Clooney wasn’t about to weigh in on Election 2010.

“This is the one place, and the one event, where I could come to Washington and it not be political,” Clooney said, quickly switching to his talking points by urging diplomatic intervention in Sudan. “If we do it now, it doesn’t cost us any money, it doesn’t cost us a dime, and it doesn’t cost any American lives.”

When another reporter asked whether American troops could be sent into Sudan, Clooney punted the question: “You take that, Sen. Lugar.”

While he stayed on message, Clooney’s visit still attracted plenty of attention during an otherwise quiet recess day. More than a dozen photographers and videographers showed up to the presser outside the Foreign Relations Committee room, along with a handful of camera-ready Congressional interns.

Clooney seemed to understand his appearance on the Hill wasn’t entirely based on his diplomatic expertise. “We’re not policymakers, we’re just megaphones,” he said.

Like many Members of Congress, Clooney didn’t hang around Capitol Hill longer than necessary. After answering a few questions, he left the building with a Capitol Police escort.

Little Green Men? Sure. Honest Members? No.

It’s no secret that the American public doesn’t exactly have much admiration for politicians — checked out any job approval numbers lately? — but a new survey proves just how bad things have become.

More Americans believe in ghosts, aliens, karma and angels than “honest politicians,” this study shows. And if you are attributing these results to the, er, less affluent among us, think again.

The latest “Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America” finds that among the top 10 percent richest people in the U.S., more believe in ghosts, aliens and angels than truth-telling politicians. Produced by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group, the survey shows 58 percent of rich folk believe in karma, 53 percent in angels, 37 percent in ghosts, 34 percent in aliens ... but only 32 percent in honest public servants.

Guess Members have some campaigning to do among the country club set ...

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