George Clooney on Darfur and Barack Obama

ByABC News via via logo

Dec. 16, 2006 — -- ABC's Kate Snow recently talked with one of Hollywood's biggest stars about his latest project. But George Clooney wasn't chatting about a movie. Along with actor Don Cheadle and Olympic athlete Joey Cheek, he explained the motive behind his mission to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

Clooney also offered his opinion on potential presidential candidate Barack Obama, a politician he deems "impressive" and "charismatic."

Kate Snow: I think most Americans by now have heard of Darfur. At least they know the name. But, I also think you'd probably agree that most of Americans feel sort of overwhelmed by all the bad things happening in the world, by all the hardship out there. So, I wondered from each of you what would you tell Americans: … [Should] they should pay attention to Darfur?

George Clooney: Well … you could argue that there's a million places that you should care about. And they're right. You should. This is one in particular where the humanitarian crisis is such that these people are all alone. There is no help. There are very few advocates. There's no voice for them, and they're going to die, and they're going to die in massive numbers.

And if we truly are a world of, you know, brothers and sisters and family -- then are we going to turn our backs on that along the way? I just can't imagine doing it and this is one … [where] with a very little bit of work, we can actually make a big difference, and in [which] And you can actually change and step in.

Kate Snow: Don, what can people do? People feel sort of hopeless about it. What is it I, as an American, can do?

Don Cheadle: I get that question a lot. I echo back: What can you do? Where do you have an effect in your and in your community? Are you a member of a church group? Are you good at writing letters?

People write grant proposals. … You can write a grant proposal for this. Do something that you know how to do in your life and your business, because I do believe that it will be the collective voice that ultimately will make a change for these people.

Kate Snow: George I have to ask -- you worked with Barack Obama on this very issue. Would he be a good president in 2008?

George Clooney: I think he'd be a good president in 2010, 2012 and 2014. I think he's the most charismatic person I've been in a room with in a long time.

Kate Snow: You would back him if he decided to --

George Clooney: Well, I don't know that he would necessarily want the --

Kate Snow: A George Clooney backing?

George Clooney: A bunch of actors backing him. But I can't tell you what an impressive sight he is in the room. He's not polarizing. He is impressive.

You know, my father ran for Congress two years ago and --

Kate Snow: You backed him.

George Clooney: No, I didn't. I backed him by raising money for him. But … everything was categorized as Hollywood versus the heartland and I actually hurt him as he was running as a Democrat in Kentucky … That was not a very good time to do that. And I could do damage to him. So, I don't necessarily know … [that] saying I back him is helpful. I must tell you, I've never seen anybody in my life in person that was as qualified this young to do what I think we need done.

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