Heard on the Hill

An Affleck-Damon Senate Race?

Affleck, center, is active in local Massachusetts politics, leading some to pontificate that he could run for the seat Kerry, second from left, would vacate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly 15 years after the release of the blockbuster flick “Good Will Hunting,” at least one Massachusetts-based politics editor yearns for the magic Ben Affleck and Matt Damon could bring to politics.

The two, whose ties to the Boston area go way back, collaborated on the screenplay for the Hub-based “Hunting,” which garnered them Oscars for their screenwriting.

Jon Keller, politics editor for Boston’s local CBS affiliate, WBZ-TV, was recently pontificating on who will run for the seat of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., assuming he is nominated to be secretary of State. For  special elections, Massachusetts law is a little more relaxed than its normal election requirements. It “requires only that you be over 30, a registered voter and be able to turn in 10,000 certified signatures,” Keller said. “You don’t even have to live in Massachusetts now, as long as you move here before Election Day.”

Although he says he’s not a fan of mixing showbiz and politics, which just means he doesn’t live in D.C., he encourages Boston not to be deemed “un-hip.”

So, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Keller proposed last week that Damon run for the U.S. Senate. This week, however, he removed tongue from cheek in time to report that Affleck’s name has actually been bandied about by several politically savvy Massachusetts Democrats.

Affleck is active in Massachusetts politics, as well as national politics, after all.

But does Keller think Affleck would make a good senator?

“Well, just look at how he got those hostages out of Iran,” he told HOH, referring to Affleck’s latest movie, the get-Americans-out-of-Iran thriller “Argo.”

Fair point, Mr. Keller. Fair point.

As if to make Keller’s point, Affleck was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, testifying on the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An added bonus is that Jennifer Garner, Affleck’s wife and an actor in her own right, likes to come to D.C. as well, so the couple would certainly glam up the place.

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