Clearly the field of presidential candidates isn’t fully settled out yet, as the weekend’s events in Ames, Iowa demonstrated. And some new faces may yet be showing up on campaign posters near you. Chris Christie? Rudy? The Revenge of The Donald? No.
Are you ready for… Matt Damon for president?
Even in the increasingly wild world of American politics, it seemed an especially crazy idea: Matt Damon for president? After all, the handsome actor, whose boyish good looks belie the fact that he has just turned 40, is still best known for his early role in Good Will Hunting, where he played a working-class Bostonian.
So why is Damon’s name being mentioned in the context of the 2012 race for the White House and a possible liberal challenge to Barack Obama? The simple answer is to blame leftwing firebrand Michael Moore.
Leaving Michael Moore and his desires for a left wing primary challenge to Obama aside for the moment, the article does go on to point out why the Left might take Damon seriously as a potential candidate. Rather than simply attaching his name to a few high profile charity causes like feeding the hungry in Africa, it seems that Damon has actually burned up some shoe leather in real political efforts at home. And out here in New York, he has hitched his wagon to one group in particular.
Instead, Damon has lent his high profile name to the distinctly unfashionable cause of the Working Families Party. The WFP is an obscure leftwing political party that exists as a sort of pressure group in New York state on Democrats and leftists in order to pursue progressive ideals. Attaching your name to the WFP is about as far from trendy as any Hollywood celebrity could get. Yet Damon has been a passionate advocate for the party, appearing in a 2010 campaign video for them in which he urged New Yorkers to shun the Democrats and vote for the WFP as a genuine leftwing alternative.
The Guardian actually delivers a fairly honest description of the WFP, who I’ve written about here before. In New York, they are seen as the safe haven for people who think that the New York Democratic Party isn’t quite liberal – if not blatantly socialist – for you. (Regular readers also know that I’m not one of those writers who toss around the word “socialist” lightly. But the WFP fills the bill.)
I honestly don’t think the willpower exists on the Left to mount a serious challenge to Obama in a primary run. But if Damon has a big enough burr under his saddle, he has the kind of high profile soap box where he could cause headaches for the president during the 2012 cycle.