Politically active Hollywood types are often told to “stick to movies.” That’s exactly what Ben Affleck has decided to do.
The actor and director, who has been bandied about as a possible candidate for Massachusetts’ open Senate seat, announced on his Facebook page over the Christmas holiday that he will not be running.
I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office. Right now it’s a privilege to spend my time working with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), supporting our veterans, drawing attention to the great many who go hungry in the U.S. everyday and using filmmaking to entertain and foster discussion about issues like our relationship to Iran.We are about to get a great Secretary of State and there are some phenomenal candidates in Massachusetts for his Senate seat. I look forward to an amazing campaign.
The seat is opening because the longtime holder of it, John Kerry, has been nominated as Secretary of State by President Obama.
In addition to his charity work mentioned in the post, Affleck has served as a surrogate for President Obama and other Democratic candidates, and has often appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher and other talk shows, displaying a grasp of politics and political issues that’s considerably more informed than that of most politically vocal actors.
The 40-year-old Affleck is a Massachusetts native who has starred in and directed several movies, including “Good Will Hunting,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” set in the Boston area, though he hasn’t lived in the state in several years.
It’s not hard to imagine Affleck running for office at some point in the future, although with his career at a peak- he was named Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year and is looking at possible Oscar nominations for “Argo”- it was a long shot that he’d give that all up right now for a political career. Perhaps Affleck will take an approach similar to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al Franken, both of whom straddled the line of Hollywood work and political advocacy for many years before ultimately running for and winning office in their mid-50s.