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Last weekend Val Kilmer said “probably not” when asked whether he’ll be running for governor of New Mexico.

Lloyd Grove writes in the Daily Beast that it is not a definitive “no,” but “rather the standard locution of a potential candidate not ready to make a decision, let alone an announcement, and keeping his options open.”

Steve McMahon, a friend of Kilmer’s who has been an informal adviser, told me that the actor had not decided.

He also talked to Grove about the rationale of a Hollywood celebrity running in this environment.

Grove quotes McMahon: “People are aware that Barack Obama burst onto the scene at the 2004 convention before he was even elected to anything,” McMahon says, though Obama was in fact an Illinois state senator. “And four years later he was able to put together an army of passionate supporters and that was sufficient to topple the frontrunner in the primary and win the presidency…Every actor is aware of what Schwarzenegger has done. As the saying goes, ‘there, with the grace of God, go I’”—and with rapidly accelerating velocity. “It’s gone from the 24-hour news cycle to the 24-minute news cycle,” McMahon says, “and the smart political operatives and politicians understand that and take advantage of it.”

Yesterday on Daily Beast, Nicolle Wallace, an adviser to the McCain campaign, wrote of the need for the party to find a Reagan-esque figure to lead it out of its current state, “an effective communicator who can stand toe to toe with Obama’s eloquence.” One of her choices: Gary Sinise.