UPDATE: Affleck took to his Facebook page to respond to the rumors surrounding a possible Senate bid:
“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.”
Actor Ben Affleck‘s name is one of a handful that is being speculated as a possible candidate for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s seat. Kerry who was nominated by President Obama to be the next Secretary of State on Friday, is expected to be confirmed, thus opening up a seat.
Affleck -a Cambridge native- has been an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party and most recently hosted a fundraiser for newly-elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Affleck appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, where host Bob Schieffer asked him about the rumors of a Senate bid.
“One never knows. I’m not one to get into conjecture,” Affleck said.“I do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country. It’s a big deal for me to come down here and be on your show that I’ve watched so much, but I’m not going to get into speculation about my political future.”
“I like to be involved — right now I’m really happy being involved from the outside in government, advocating for the Congolese, taking this move that I made, ‘Argo,’ and it’s 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 — so I got a lot on my plate,” Affleck said.
Politico reports Affleck was on Capitol Hill this week speaking to the House Armed Services Committee hearing about the security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Affleck is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative which is an advocacy group that aids communities in social and economical development initiatives.
In 2001, Affleck told GQ that he’d like to run for office in the future.
“My fantasy is that someday I’m independently wealthy enough that I’m not beholden to anybody, so I can run for Congress on the grounds that everyday people should be in government,” Affleck said.
However, the actor seems to have changed his mind in the December issue of GQ.
“So, no, the answer is: I don’t want to run for office. And I don’t even like working in partisan politics. People get so wound up and so ugly now. I find that doing things that are independent where you can really actually make a difference, where you can affect policy, you can affect change, means more than doing the partisan political thing.”
Affleck said he has been approached to run for office in the past.
“That race was a Senate race. But of course there’s also of course the Senate race in Massachusetts,” Affleck said. “Whenever the few races have come up, when they just start casting around for names to throw in there, mine comes up.”
Affleck is the latest celebrity whose name has been floated as a Senate candidate. Actress Ashley Judd has allegedly been considering a run against Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.