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Affleck leaves door open for Senate run

With longtime Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as a top contender to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, one looming question is: who will take Kerry's place in the Senate? Among the names thrown around as a possible successor: actor Ben Affleck.

Affleck sat down with CBS News "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer this week and, when asked about a possible Senate run, it was clear that Affleck has mastered Washington's skill on how to keep the door open without making any commitments.


"Well, one never knows," he explained. "I'm not one to get into conjecture. 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, who will appear on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, was in Washington this week to testify before the House Armed Services Committee.

He's an outspoken Democratic Party activist and, in 2001, told GQ, "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."

If Kerry does become Secretary of State, a special election will be held between 145 and 160 days from the date of his Senate resignation.

Soon-to-be-former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who lost his 2012 bid for re-election to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, is a possible candidate along with several Democratic members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation.

In a poll released today, Brown leads in hypothetical matchups with Reps. Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Steve Lynch and Marty Meehan, by between 17 and 19 points.

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