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. liberal disease

    maybe he can do something about his violent movies

    December 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Shecky

    Oh GOOD GRIEF! Who in their right mind would vote for HIM?
    OH! People in Massachusetts, that's who.
    After all, they sent the unqualified, inept ELIZABETH WARREN to DC!

    December 25, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. the_dude

    I would never vote for someone who wears a hairpiece

    December 25, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Dude in Colorado

    I would never vote for someone who thought appearing in "Reindeer Games" was a good career move.

    December 25, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Brooklyn Love

    Thank you Ben for sparing everyone another American embarrassment.

    December 25, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. naggingmoose

    BUT you all thought Ronnie Regan was so great??

    December 25, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Ed1

    Don't we have enough actors in DC now.

    December 25, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. blake

    Good decision. Absolutely no credentials, but since when did the far left in Massachusetts care about that.

    December 25, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Dennis

    He's not even a good actor.

    December 25, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. ccaros

    A flake?

    December 25, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Karen

    Oh please, Sen. Scott Brown? We just voted him out of office for a reason! Elizabeth Warren has more brains in her little finger than half the people commenting negatively about her!

    December 25, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Bob

    He'd fit right in with the rest of the unqualified Obama team!

    December 25, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. bptsj

    I'd like to announce I'm not running for President in 2016.

    December 25, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Dan

    What is one more incompetent in our government?

    December 25, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Mike

    What qulifies Ben to be a Senator? You must be kidding

    December 25, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Cindy

    Comments here are surprising. Doesn't appear neither side wants Ben. Dont freak out people, but I think Rep's and Dem's have found common ground.

    December 25, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Pat

    Good boy, Ben. Don't ever drink that particular Kool-Aid. It's not worth it.

    December 25, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. I'd vote for him

    I was surprised when I watched an interview of Ben Affleck speaking about world politics and economic issues, he was quite knowable and well-spoken. I found his ideas and approach refreshing compared to politics-as-usual.

    December 25, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Jon

    Not another entitled Hollywood liberal Democrat...THE INSANITY! ENOUGH already! lol

    December 25, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Jessie P.

    Anyone and "anything" is better than Scott Brown. So glad the people of Massachusetts were smart enough to see through Scott Brown's lies!!

    December 25, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. stevephoenix

    Wow. So, he's turning down a gig that pays $174,000 a year for one that pays him $20,000,000?

    December 25, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Jim

    Well, this is another hollywood actor that thinks things will change. why do people think that people like this are the most intellient that hit earth, THEY ACT? IN MOVIES! Money, I am sure all of them have money, but that makes them intelligent? Man something has to change.

    December 25, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. gregg

    He would fit right in the senate with the rest of the dumber than a bag of rocks politicians.......

    December 25, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  24. cyberbob

    This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of, however he may have a chance in a state that re-elected Ted Kennedy over & over again. What these actors don't realize is how making their political views public, really hurts their acting careers. For instance, I will never watch another George Clooney movie after his Obama fund raiser. As a business owner, I have never mixed politics or religion with my business.

    December 25, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. Sherron

    Thank God, he isn't smart but his wife is an engineer and extremely smart. Okay he was smart when he married her!

    December 25, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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