Ben Affleck: Raising Money for Democrats Made Me 'Feel Gross'

Image: Ben Affleck: Raising Money for Democrats Made Me 'Feel Gross'

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 02:05 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Hollywood star Ben Affleck, who has played an active role in Democratic politics, says fundraising for politicians began to "feel gross."

Speaking to Playboy magazine about helping to campaign for presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama, Affleck recalled, "Over time I became disillusioned, mostly with the pernicious effect of money in politics. I realized it was about raising $56,000 through a couple of dinners, and those bundlers who bring in $1 million or $2 million."

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He continued, "Those people are dedicated, and they believe in what they're doing. I believe in why many of them are doing it. What I don't believe in is that we now have the need to do it. And for me personally, it started to feel gross."

Asked what part in particular made him feel that way, Affleck responded, "Being used as a prop to schmooze people and try to milk the teat of the donor for money. We'd do it sparingly. Matt and I did a thing for Elizabeth Warren, whom we like and who won. We did a fundraiser for Cory Booker, whom we also like. People now know me as a Democrat, and that will always be the case to some extent."

But they may not see him campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"I haven't abandoned it, but I look at working in politics again with a more jaundiced eye," Affleck said.

"Hillary does excite me, in the same way the potent symbolism of the first African-American president was what thrilled people about Obama. It's similar with Hillary and gender equality. The idea that 100 years after women got the right to vote, to have a woman president would be exciting," he said.

As for whether he would ever consider running for office, Affleck said, "I don’t give it serious thought, because it would take me away from what I consider to be the prime of my storytelling career. I feel more in touch with that and what I want to do than I ever have. I wouldn't step away from that for anything."

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