This is not to say that Alec Baldwin will necessarily run for mayor, but as the recent incident—in which he was deplaned for refusing to turn off his iPhone, and then tweeted his outrage—shows yet again, he has the disgusted temperament of many who’ve ruled this impossible town (and many of us who live in it). Yes, his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, reportedly called him a “tin-pot tyrant,” but Baldwin is both a delightfully needy and generous public figure. He’s been drafting himself for service for years; something about his life doesn’t seem to quite satisfy his sense of his own potential. For all his success—Glengarry Glen Ross, The Hunt for Red October, 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy—he’s yearned to do something more serious. Which is why he opines for the Huffington Post, has a public-radio podcast, and spent much of the past year baiting right-wingers on Twitter.
“Would I want to be the mayor of New York?” he asks, as courtly yet impatient as Donaghy. “Probably. Would I want to run for mayor of New York? Probably not.” He knows it’s easier to rule by Twitter (though he deactivated his account last week). He’s made room for himself to run, however: His current 30 Rock contract will let him out at the end of 2012, and he’s planning on switching his official residence from Amagansett to his nearly $12 million Village penthouse (he’s sick of keeping the diaries of his whereabouts required by tax authorities). As for his would-be platform, it’s “to develop public policy that is more inclusive to average New Yorkers who don’t have other residences—they’re not Europeans or Hamptons people.” In other words, people not too much like him.
He supported Occupy Wall Street—up to their “bashing of wealthy people, or perceived wealthy people.” (“I don’t have a private jet,” though if he did, presumably the flight attendants would be more agreeable.) But he’s alarmed that “the average man” in 2011 must “stress about making ends meet. Or maybe it’s just that the ones who are struggling are noisier now.” Either way, “what really defines New York is that there are so many people who are very very wealthy, they could live somewhere else at probably half the cost, but they want to live in a real city, with the people struggling to succeed.” And would having Jack Donaghy (“That very self-important character—lacking in self-awareness and in other times having real self-awareness,” as Baldwin puts it; “I’m really nothing like that character at all”) as mayor really be so bad?