Affleck rules out Massachusetts Senate run
December 24th, 2012
09:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Affleck rules out Massachusetts Senate run

(CNN) – Ben Affleck won’t run to be the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

The actor and director on Monday put an end to the rumors that he might throw his hat in the ring to replace Sen. John Kerry if he is confirmed as secretary of state, saying he plans to advocate for his causes from outside the upper chamber.

"I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

“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,” he posted.

The Bay State seat is expected to become vacant next year because Kerry’s colleagues are expected to confirm him as secretary of state. President Barack Obama nominated him for the top diplomatic job on Friday.

Affleck has mused that he would be interested in running for Congress. He had a taste of the legislative branch last week when he testified at a House Armed Services Committee hearing about his Eastern Congo Initiative, an advocacy organization that also gives grants to spur economic and social development in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He stirred some of the speculation that he would be the latest example of actor-turned-politician with a very noncommittal answer to the question of whether he would seek the seat.

“I'm not one to get into conjecture,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country…But I'm not going to get into speculation about my political future.

"I like to be involved” he said, and “right now I'm really happy being involved from the outside in government.”

His other causes include aiding veterans and fighting domestic hunger.

In his CBS interview, he said his recent movie, “Argo,” has “really become a springboard for dialogue about our relationship with Iran, which is, you know, as Hillary Clinton said, the most pressing foreign policy issue today.”

Earlier on Monday, Ted Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, said he would not seek the seat, citing the timing and family considerations.

Among the Democrats who have indicated interest are Reps. Michael Capuano, Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch.

A recent poll shows that outgoing Sen. Scott Brown would be the frontrunner on the Republican side, if he chooses to seek the seat. In November, Brown lost his bid to hold the seat he won in 2010 after the elder Kennedy’s death.

Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to pick a temporary successor who would serve until a special election is held. By law, the election must take place between 145 and 160 days from the vacancy. The elected successor would serve out Kerry's term, which ends in 2014.

Filed under: Massachusetts • Senate
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. daeh ttub

    Thank you Ben Affleck for not running. Serious times require serious candidates. Shame on the media for this ridiculous side show. Senator Ted Kennedy was a giant and Senator John Kerry leaves some big shoes to fill. Let us hope that the Democratic Party does the state justice and fields a qualified candidate to join Senator Elizabeth Warren in the senate. It would be a travesty if Scott Brown found his way back into the Senate after such a sound defeat in November.

    December 24, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Anthony in California

    Funny thing is, he'd probably do a better job then the guys there now "acting" like they care about the best interest of the country. And the House is even worse.

    December 24, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
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    December 24, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  4. Spock500

    He should probably rule out acting as well.

    December 24, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  5. MaryM

    I vote for Caroline Kenndy

    December 24, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  6. onlyfacts

    And I was so looking forward to seeing his campaign ads with a cartoon duck walking around yelling "AFFLECK"!!

    December 25, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  7. MikeyZ

    Affleck should get Kevin Smith to campaign for him. Talk about a guy who can make lightning strike twice...

    December 25, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  8. Name lynn

    Some people wasnt made to run for the senate its not easy as what these people thinks its all about when it comes to makng decisions in the white house and other places let the fighting begans

    December 25, 2012 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  9. coderjones

    There is a god!

    December 25, 2012 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  10. DasBoot

    Thank Christ

    December 25, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  11. some guy in New Hampshire

    Thank God for an actor smart enough to know that a career making movies doesn't somehow prepare you to be an effective legislator - any more than being a good legislator will automatically prepare you to be a movie director.

    December 25, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  12. Jt_flyer

    Well I did like his asteroid movie.

    December 25, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  13. Michael Q

    Perhaps, Scott Brown should just become a Democrat to easily get re-elected. He's got experience and he can change his position on anything by turning on a dime. Besides, as the Republican Tea Party has learned, Scott Brown is a R.I.N.O.

    December 25, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. BostonSteve

    Ben Affleck doesn't have an original thought in his body. The body of movies he has produced have all been based on real-life situations where he simply copies the lifestyles of the Boston Irish. What makes anyone think this guy has any original thoughts as far as representing the Commonwealth? Please!!

    December 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. callout

    affleck can do a better job than the losers in DC right now–run ben run!

    December 25, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. Name

    You would think that actors would understand the benefits of the competitive process that America stands for. Thousands of actors switch careers because they cannot make it in acting. The same principle applies in all sectors of the economy. It all works on a competitive basis so the most qualified people get the roles or jobs.

    December 25, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Chris in Minn

    Well, I thought Reagan did a decent job when he went into public office, and even with some disagreements I had with Ventura, he didnt do THAT bad. I do think that someone outside a political, or a "know-it-all" political (for that matter) background might bring some sense into this mix.

    December 25, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Squigman

    Wish he'd run. Can't understand why he'd want it, but he'd do as good a job, if not better than those currently holding office.

    December 25, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So the second-rate afterthought who lucked out in his first movie has realized that the same folks who cannot take his self-aggrandizing, mind-sapping movies seriously will not take his senate candidacy seriously either. Finally a good move on his part in addition to marrying someone with significantly more talent than he has.

    December 25, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Happy he's not running

    Worthy of a CNN news story.

    December 25, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Name Armstrong Fleck

    I am announcing that I will also not be running for the senate seat.

    Hey this is kinda fun.

    December 25, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. PJ

    Afflack doesn't act very well, so he needs another job. However, few in Massachusetts want him as their Senator. In fact, I doubt he could be Mayor of Worcester.

    December 25, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Gabbo

    Is this some kind of joke ? Afleck is a college drop-out. Less than one year ! On the other hand, perhaps this is the kind of easily-bent mind the democrats love.

    December 25, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Deb Ed

    He would fit right in with the rest of the politicians. They're all actors. They like to act like politicians. Only difference, politicians use teleprompters while actors learn their lines.

    December 25, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Darn. I was looking forward to joining whoever opposed him with scores of others at his 'rallie's' where all would stand there and yell "Afflack!" like the duck in the commercials drowning out his dribble drabble drone.

    December 25, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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