“Go ahead and laugh if you want to,” says Jon Keller of Boston’s CBS affiliate WBZ, but I’m not sure anyone’s laughing at this suggestion. Keller handicaps the special election coming soon if John Kerry gets the nod for Secretary of State as widely expected, since Massachusetts is one of the rare states that requires a special election in the event of an unexpected Senate vacancy. Republicans will almost certainly nominate outgoing Senator Scott Brown, who surprised Massachusetts Democrats with a victory in the January 2010 special election to fill the seat left open by Ted Kennedy’s death. Democrats need some star power to offset Brown’s name recognition, and so … Senator Ben Affleck might sound pretty good to Democrats:
Could a Hollywood star be among the potential candidates if and when John Kerry’s Senate seat opens up?
It’s a political rarity, a major job up for grabs in a special election that allows incumbents to run without giving up their current seat.
Several names have been mentioned, including Scott Brown, Mike Capuano, Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch. …
Believe it or not, one name I have heard tossed around is that of actor-director Ben Affleck, the pride of Cambridge, who’s been active in Democratic Party politics for more than a decade.
Go ahead and laugh if you want to, but keep in mind, anyone who’s over 30, a citizen, and able to get 10,000 certified signatures can enter this race.
It’s really not that outrageous of a suggestion. Affleck has been active for years in the party, as Keller notes, and not behind the scenes, either. He regularly appears on Bill Maher’s HBO show, which may not impress Hot Air readers any more than it does me, but it gives Affleck a good forum on the Left for his political profile. He comes across as reasonable and measured most times, unlike our Hollywood/New York entertainment Senator here in Minnesota, Al Franken. It’s been more or less assumed that Affleck would eventually explore a future in political office, and there’s probably not going to be a better opening than now.
Massachusetts Democrats have to be worried about Brown’s capacity to steal their thunder in a special election. They’d like Affleck’s star power to guarantee that Brown can’t work that magic a second time, although they have enough of an edge in voting power that they shouldn’t need it. Of course, that’s what they thought in January 2010, too.