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Warren Beatty Nixes 2000 Run

Actor Warren Beatty is ruling out a run for the presidency this year, but not necessarily forever.

"I'm not running now," he said in an interview in the February issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

"I think the question is: Can I be effective at another time? Whether that is in a year, or two years, who knows?"

The actor suggested last summer that he was interested in a possible run as a Democratic candidate. He declined in November to seek a spot on the California primary ballot, but would not comment then on his future plans.

Although he had previously said it was unlikely he would actually become a candidate, the interview in Vanity Fair - advance copies of which were released Monday - appeared to put the question to rest.

Beatty said he decided not to run after realizing that a poor showing on his part could damage his liberal agenda and the issues that matter to him, including schools and a ban on special-interest money for political campaigns.

He told the magazine that he feared his critics would say: "'Look, Mr. Movie Star was up here and tried to do something with these issues and look how unpopular they are.' Well, I don't believe that."

But he doesn't think his flirtation with running for office was entirely in vain. "I feel good about speaking up," he said. "I wouldn't feel good if I hadn't. It seems to me that the effect has been positive, that I've not yet made too much of a fool of myself."

He criticized the election system that gives great importance t the early primaries in a few big states.

"With the front-loading of primaries, you have the political version of a blockbuster movie," he said. "There's no time for people to discover the movie before it's kicked out of the theaters."

Beatty also refused to endorse any other candidates.

"They're all good men, but none of them are saying enough of the things that need to be said," he told the magazine.

© 2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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