Ben Affleck Goes to Washington: Could He Be John Kerry’s Replacement?

Boston’s own Ben Affleck has been tossed into the mill of names that may contend for a vacant Massachusetts senator seat, should U.S. Sen. John Kerry, R-Mass., accept an invitation to join President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as secretary of state. Affleck attended a hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, testifying on the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo before the House Armed Services Committee. The Argo director and star is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, which raises funds to aid the African nation.

While in Washington, Affleck reportedly met with Kerry, but no statement on the nature of the meeting was made. When asked, Affleck chose not to entertain questions about a potential senate run.

“That’s not what I’m here to talk about,” Affleck said according to Politico. “I’m here to talk about what role we can place in making the Eastern Congo a better place.”

During his testimony Wednesday, Affleck expressed his feelings toward the violence in the region, as well as his personal experience there.

“Resolving the cycle of violence does not necessarily require a significant new financial investment by the United States or U.S. boots on the ground. It does, however, require American political leadership — moral leadership even — to bring the parties together to address the larger sources of instability in the region,” Affleck, who once studied Middle Eastern Affairs, told the committee.

“I may be naive, but I believe that our actions in foreign policy represent our values as a country — they represent who we are as a people,” he added. “Soon I will be making my 10th trip to Congo, and I know that if your constituents were to go to Congo and see what is happening there, they would insist we do something about it.”

If Affleck were to pursue a formal political career he would be doing so at a new peak in his career, with his film Argo having scored multiple Golden Globe Nominations and the American Film Institute’s Best Movie of the Year award.

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