Brad Pitt suffered through a press conference Friday morning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and and Rep. James E. Clyburn (D- S.C.). Pitt was touting his "Make it Right" project, which is building affordable green housing for residents of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans.

Before presenting Pitt to the press, Pelosi claimed that meeting him gave her bragging rights to her children and grandchildren and that it was "a real treat for me as well." She then called him a hero and a model for the country. Pitt stood by, looking embarrassed and bored. He then roused himself for a short speech in which he thanked Pelosi and plugged his program, which will "expand this idea of affordability and sustainability."

Then it was Clyburn's turn.

"I did not realize when the speaker asked me to chair the Katrina-Rita task force that it would lead to my getting in a position to make my grandchildren so envious of me," he said.

It's hard to say what was more amusing: Pitt's holier-than-thou attitude or the senators' drooling adoration. As the British newspaper The Guardian put it, the legislators "quivered like school children."

Ah, foreign newspapers. Don't you love them? But you don't have to be British to be struck by the oddness of this event, in which two of the most powerful people in the United States melted into puddles at Pitt's feet.

- Erin Mills

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