Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009

Brad Pitt

During the civil rights movement, the distinction was made between those who would "talk the talk" — i.e., attend parties, fundraisers and speeches — and those who would be willing to "walk the walk" — that is, use their bodies as a backstop for nightsticks and clubs.

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the news media and New Orleans itself were inundated with people who were willing to talk the talk. And from this gaggle of talkers emerged one who took the long walk with our city.

Brad Pitt found, after listening to residents, that this horrible man-made disaster created an opportunity to build something better than what had existed before. From starting the Make It Right Foundation, which is building hundreds of affordable and sustainable homes in the Lower Ninth Ward and elsewhere in the city, to his advocacy on behalf of New Orleans with congressional leaders to his filming of the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which featured our city so beautifully, Pitt has remained committed to the people of New Orleans.

We knew we were getting a Sexiest Man Alive, and we soon found we got the most committed one too.

At a time when New Orleans' future — and an entire culture — hangs in the balance, one of the most sought-after actors in the world and our fellow New Orleanian hasn't simply helped people; he's also given them their lives back. Pitt, 45, has brought life and hope to the nation's most unique city and one we're proud to call home. In a place that has been described as "the city that care forgot," it is a fact that Brad Pitt never forgot to care.

Carville and Matalin are political strategists