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George Clooney, aka Mr. Sudan, says his life wasn't led 'in the right way for politics'

February 24, 2011 |  3:39 pm

George Clooney in Juba, Sudan

George Clooney says he's no saint when it comes to running for office, but he knows he can parlay his star power to advocate for a good cause.

"I didn't live my life in the right way for politics, you know," he told Newsweek while stationed in Sudan, where he's sublimating his celebrity status to help people fight for their rights. He said he slept with "too many chicks and did too many drugs, and that's the truth."

So if he were to run, he says he'd "start from the beginning by saying, 'I did it all. I drank the bong water. Now let's talk about issues.' That's gonna be my campaign slogan: 'I drank the bong water'?" he jokes.

Are you listening, Miley Cyrus?

So why the political talk from the two-time Sexiest Man Alive? Clooney, who has spent quite a bit of his time lately doing humanitarian work in the oil-rich African country, is set to play a less-than-perfect man running for president in "The Ides of March." The film, which he also directed and co-wrote, also stars Ryan Gosling and Marisa Tomei.

The "Up In the Air" star said he looked to U2's Bono as the model for directing attention to passion projects.

"Celebrity can help focus news media where they have abdicated their responsibility. We can't make policy, but we can 'encourage' politicians more than ever before." And if the paparazzi come to Sudan as a result, that's OK with him. "If they're going to follow me anyway," he said, "I want them to follow me here."

Still, the A-lister is aware that, despite all his stardust, it's difficult to get Americans interested in his cause -- and that's why he jokes about creating "The Real Housewives of Sudan."

Dashing hero or evil genius? Let us know in comments.


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-- Nardine Saad

Photo: George Clooney stands outside a polling station on the first day of voting in the southern Sudanese capital city of Juba on Jan. 9. Credit: Pete Muller / Associated Press