I’ve got a story for you.
It involves a household name actor with a couple of early memorable roles under his belt, who in recent years has been appearing in an increasingly more embarrassing string of B movies and is just recovering from the very public breakup of his relationship with a women possessing far more star power. The guy seems to have little luck in Hollywood recently, and instead has been hitting the lecture circuit working as a spokesman and selling a product. While a little awkward at first, he has grown into the role magnificently and his star power is now rising in new ways. The guy can give a great speech, has tremendous presence, and really connects with the audience, in a come-into-my-living-room-and-have-a-drink kind of way. In addition, it turns out the guy also writes his own speeches, tailoring them on the fly to the audience at hand and has a pretty well developed foundation of ideas on how to address real issues facing American families.
Sound a little like the Ronald Reagan story? Well, it could be, but in this case I am talking about Ben Affleck (Reagan worked for GE, Affleck seems to be selling Democrats).
Now, I liked Good Will Hunting, but haven't been a fan of anything else Affleck has done. When he started appearing all over the place with the Dems and vigorously campaigning for Al Gore in 2000, I wrote him off as just another Hollywood Lefty. However, in recent months he has clearly separated himself from the usual vacous Hollywood pols. While I don’t agree with him on almost any issue, I do have to give him a lot of credit for being very good at something a lot of people really struggle with.
With the publication of a glowing profile in today'sWashington Post, Affleck’s political value was just bumped up a little more.
Affleck doesn't speak in lefty cliches. He sounds like a party man, if not exactly original, then as cogent as the average House member: "The deficit is financing tax cuts for millionaires like me." He doesn't have the usual Hollywood causes -- Tibet, acid rain, world peace -- and instead subscribes to the party platform, with the exception of gun control.It certainly would have been nice if the Post expanded on his gun control views, but in the meantime, it will be very interesting to keep an eye out for him as he goes forward. I wish him luck (even as I hope his party fails).