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Political Circus: Senator makes a leap to the big screen

By Ed Hornick, CNN
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, can add actor to his resume.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, can add actor to his resume.
  • Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, will act in a new movie
  • Secretary of State Clinton cracks some jokes in the land down under
  • Shirley Sherrod auctions herself off for charity

Washington (CNN) -- Politics is serious business -- but not all of the time. From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail, there's always something that gets a laugh. Here are some of the things you might have missed.

Does he get SAG points?

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is filming a scene in Chicago on Tuesday for director Steven Soderbergh's movie, "Contagion."

Durbin joked that his appearances on C-SPAN have "prepared me for this historic moment in my life, but I'm still a little nervous. All I can think of is going on too long with the thank-you list in my Oscar acceptance speech."

No word yet on if he gets Screen Actors Guild benefits.

Crisp diplomacy

Australian comedy duo Hamish and Andy presented Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a bag of crisps -- the word for potato chips in the land down under -- during a recent interview. What ensued was banter not seen on the diplomatic stage.

According to a State Department transcript:

Clinton: I cannot tell you how much this means to me.

Question: Are you a collector of chips?

Clinton: I am an eater of chips.

Clinton: And you resealed the package?

Question: No, no. This has never been opened.

Question: They're the last remaining sealed ones. If you try to eat them, technically, that's an assassination attempt by us.

Clinton: Shall I wait until I am out of Australian airspace?

Question: Yes.

Pretty blunt

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, set to leave office, was asked by Jay Leno how he really feels about marijuana. His response? "No one cares if you smoke a joint or not."

Headline of the day

"Nancy, get lost -- Dems" -- New York Post

Wasilla v. Peekskill

Ex-New York Gov. George Pataki, who recently hinted at potential 2012 run, joked to ABC News that his time as mayor of Peekskill, New York, is nothing like running Wasilla, Alaska -- a shot at Sarah Palin, another potential 2012-er.

"It was a challenging job, mayor of Peekskill, let me assure you," Pataki joked. "Twice the size of Wasilla."

A case of the 'trashcare' reports that Fountain Hills Town Council's decision to employ a single trash hauler "has been met with angry protests from residents who accuse town leaders of overstepping their bounds and taking a leap toward socialism."

Some are even calling it "trashcare" -- or as the paper puts it "'Obamacare' for garbage.'"

The picture you need to see

In this AFP/Getty Images photo, "The official band runs to get out of the rain moments before the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama for an official arrival ceremony at State Palace Complex-Istana Merdeka on November 9, 2010, in Jakarta."

Going once, twice ...

Shirley Sherrod, the woman at the center of a controversy at the USDA, is using her name to help the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative for Economic and Social Justice raise money. Her pitch: Win lunch with me, POLITICO reports.

Late-night laughs

David Letterman: "Hillary Clinton said she will not run for president. ... Is Hillary -- when she says she's not running -- is she really not running? Or is she just pulling a Leno?"

Leno: "And Nancy Pelosi, who lost her position as Speaker of the House, says she will seek to become the House minority leader. And really who better qualified to be House minority leader than the person who led their party to become the minority in the first place."

Stephen Colbert: "A GOP sweep is like Christmas with even more Jesus."

Jimmy Fallon: "George W. Bush is on a big book tour this week. During an interview with USA Today he said he was 'blindsided by the financial crisis.' Bush said he was also blindsided that he knew the word blindsided."