November 20, 2005

Harkin walks the populist walk, forces Pitt to converse with actual little people.

Thanks to an alert reader for bringing this to my attention.

From the National Journal Hotline:
Lost in the fizz of yesterday's Hill bedlam was a quiet visit paid to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) by actor Brad Pitt.

When Pitt's team first requested the meeting with the Iowa senator, they laid down some conditions: clear the office. Don't introduce Pitt to anyone. Don't talk about the visit ahead of time.

But we're told the senator didn't take kindly to being told what to do in the confines of his own office.

So when Pitt, sporting black hair and a bushy beard, showed up around 2:00 pm, every available member of the Harkin staff -- even if they were busy -- was arrayed around the office. Harkin proceeded to introduce them to Pitt, one by one. "He got the personal introduction, along with their function and everthing else," says someone who was there.

When they did manage to speak privately, Pitt and Harkin discussed Africa and trade issues.


At 11/20/2005 7:28 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Brad Pitt is a big contributer to the DNC. Are we trying to piss him off or what?
I'm usually the first ti critisize Hollywood. Mainly because they make a lot of sh--ty movies.
But when these folks are with us they are with us!

At 11/20/2005 8:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

HA! Well, I trust that Pitt wasn't too honked off. After all, it appears he survived the ordeal of actually having to be introduced to the staff.

I think those rules were likely requested by his handlers, and that Pitt was only looking to avoid being mobbed or having to spend too much time doing the celeb thing rather than dealing with the matter at hand.

One way of looking at it is that it's a sign of Harkin's respect for his staff, that if he was going to meet Pitt, then they all were going to meet Pitt.

On the other hand, if Pitt's schedule was tight, it might not have been a good idea to spend time letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry get to shake Pitt's hand.

Pitt may have wanted to visit with Harkin alone to try to disuss Pitt's particular issues. BUT, it's the fact that Pitt is a celebrity that even gets him a meeting with a Senator. Pitt isn't some big expert in anything. If he wasn't a movie star, no senator would let him in the door.

So since his celebrity is the sole reason Harkin's even meeting with him, Pitt shouldn't then be annoyed if he's treated like one.

If he expects senators to listen to him, the trade off is that he might have to shake a few hands.

It somehow doesn't seem fair for celebs to expect special access due to their celebrity and then not expect to pose for a few pictures or be introduced to staff.

At 11/21/2005 6:09 AM, Blogger diehard said...

The staffers? They are all wannabees anyway! Who cares?

At 11/21/2005 12:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yikes! I'd hate to be on your staff!

The fact remains that, especially in D.C., the staff makes the politician. A staff can make or break a politician and often know far more about the issues and the nuts and bolts of legislation and what's happening in their home districts than the poltician themselves.

A good politician with a bad staff is much worse off than a bad politician with a good staff.

At 11/22/2005 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Case in point -- Congressman Sonny Bono - affectionately known as "Congressman Bonehead" when still alive and serving in Congress.

Not much going on upstairs and shocked he won the seat - but a great fundraiser and had great staff. No one can argue those points.


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