By Christina Wilkie - 10/13/10 12:05 AM EDT
Heartthrob George Clooney avoided any mention of politics on Tuesday during a visit to the Capitol, where he met with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to discuss the ongoing crisis in Darfur.
“This is the one place that I can come in Washington and not be political,” the activist and Oscar-winning actor told reporters outside the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room where he met for nearly 45 minutes with Lugar, the panel’s ranking member.
Staff and reporters camped out underneath the Brumidi murals while Clooney and Lugar met inside the committee room.
Upon their exit, cell phone cameras went wild, and more than one staffer was spotted photographing herself with Clooney in the background.
Clooney, back from a recent trip to Sudan, stressed that his role was to draw attention to Darfur: “We’re not policymakers, we’re just megaphones.”
Clooney has long been active in bringing attention to Darfur, a northwest region in Sudan where the United Nations estimates hundreds of thousands have died in ethnic conflict since 2003.
Clooney and Enough Project founder and activist John Prendergast had met earlier in the day with both President Obama and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“In what is one of the most politicized periods in our history, we are here to support anything that can be done diplomatically to prevent violence in Sudan,” Clooney said.