Senator Affleck?

By Stephen W. Stromberg
Published August 2, 2004 9:15PM (EDT)

If John Kerry wins in November, he doesn't have to tip the Senate to Republicans in the process. On Friday, the Massachusetts State Senate voted to hold an accelerated special election for Kerry's Senate seat, stripping Republican Governor Mitt Romney of his power to appoint an interim senator.

Speculation about who will go for Kerry's seat, meanwhile, was fueled during convention week in Boston. The top contenders for the job -- Rep. Martin Meehan and Rep. Thomas Markey -- continue to amass cash for the special election, and the prominent attendance of one-time J. Lo enthusiast Ben Affleck started rumors that the actor-turned-partisan might run. Affleck was elusive about his political ambitions in a Boston Herald interview, saying that he wasn't thinking beyond the November election -- he has been on the road with the Kerry campaign since the Kerry bus left Boston. He later took another stab at a non-denial denial: "Asked by a TV reporter yesterday whether he had any political aspirations, Affleck said, 'After I've seen the glamour and the glory? Thanks, guys.'" The Herald also notes that Affleck has clearly been following Markey and Meehan's fundraising; he was able to tell the Herald reporter the financial disposition of each potential candidate.

Could Affleck take the junior Senate seat in his home state? He has the star appeal, but next to the Governator, he's a girlie man.

Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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