Ben Affleck may have sidestepped questions this week on whether he is interested in running for Senate, but his comment/no comment to CBS's "Face the Nation" set in motion something that showbiz figures from Warren Beatty to Donald Trump have used to draw attention to their various issues.
In Beatty's case, the speculation in 1999 that he would run for president as an independent helped draw attention to one of his signature causes, campaign finance reform. In Trump's case, the speculation that he would enter the GOP nomination battle helped focus attention on, well, himself.
Affleck is championing the Congo, and testified before the Armed Services Committee this week, so the timing of a pending vacancy in Massachusetts may have only helped him focus attention on an issue that is often neglected by the general public.
"Well, one never knows," he told Bob Schieffer when asked about running for Kerry's seat. "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."