New York City, NY, United States
Alec Baldwin says he's going back to school.
After announcing his interest in running for New York mayor in 2013, the 53-year-old actor said Monday he first wants to enroll in a master's program in politics and government in order to better understand the post, according to an interview with the New York Times newspaper.
Baldwin said he hopes the program will "help me better understand what the fiscal imperatives of that job are.
"What's the reality of the city unions, of contracts, agreements, teachers, infrastructure, decentralizing, everything? And utilities, Con Ed, the M.T.A. - how does it all work?"
The New York-born "30 Rock" star revealed that supporters have asked him to consider running for office in other states but doesn't want to move from his home city.
He said he understands the residents there better than he would anywhere else.
"There are people who make a lot of money who become rich people, and then there are people who make a lot of money, but they don't think like rich people do," he said. "No matter how much money they have, they are the same from their own upbringing. I would definitely put myself in the latter class."
Before moving out to the celebrity magnet of Amagansett, near the Hamptons, the actor said he owned a home on the Upper West Side rather than in a wealthier neighborhood, because "it is more real."
"There's old people, it's ethnic and it's economically mixed. It's not a little kind of jewel-box, privileged pocket of the city like some neighborhoods are," he said. "I am more comfortable living where it seems more middle class, and I have lived there deliberately."
He said he plans to officially move back to the city before running for office.
While Baldwin's popularity has soared with his portrayal of slick television executive Jack Donaghy on the popular NBC sitcom, he admitted that entering politics is risky and could backfire.
"I am someone who is fully prepared for the fact that I could go into this and do it and completely have my ass kicked," he said. "I could throw a party and no one could come. And it would be this staggering lesson for me."
Baldwin, who received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from New York University in 2010, said he plans to enroll in school in the fall of 2012.
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