Brad Pitt met President Obama this morning, before heading to the Capitol to meet with Nancy Pelosi, as part of an effort to promote post-Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans. Also with him was producer Steve Bing, his partner in a non profit dedicated to rebuilding the city’s Lower Ninth Ward.
Pitt’s entourage also included Trevor Neilson and Chad Griffin, who have been advisers to the Make It Right Foundation, the org designed to build environmentally sustainable homes for low income residents of the Big Easy.
A White House official said Pitt’s meeting with Obama also included Carol Browner, who is assistant to the president for energy and climate change. Valerie Jarrett, who overseas the office of public liaison, also was present, sources say. The actor met with Interior Secretary Steven Chu on Wednesday, along with Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs Shaun Donovan.
The D.C. Examiner’s Yeas & Nays blog reports that Pitt also met with Harry Reid today and Politico reports that they also met with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). So, in a nutshell, you can get an idea of the media frenzy that greeted this lobbying effort, which seems to have even rivaled that of the coverage surrounding Obama’s first meeting on health care reform.
Video of Pitt’s presser with Pelosi here. Pelosi called him “a real hero for the people of New Orleans” and “a real model for the country.” Also appearing was Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who chairs the House’s Hurricane Katrina task force.
Pitt’s partner, Angelina Jolie, is in Washington this week shooting scenes for the movie “Salt.”