By Leah Rozen
September 08, 1997 12:00 PM

>Selleck for President


TOM SELLECK WON’T RUN, SO DON’T ASK him. “I hate politics,” claims the macho, 6’4″ actor, who plays wildly against type as a gay TV newsman in the Sept. 19 film In and Out. But rumors that Selleck, 52, has Republican political ambitions have been cropping up for years. The capper came on Aug. 20, when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger were trying to persuade Selleck to challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in 1998. But the former Magnum, P.I. guy says Dowd should have done better investigating. “There’s no truth to it,” insists Selleck, father of Hannah, 8, with his second wife, actress Jillie Mack, 39. “She was just dead wrong, and she ought to be ashamed of herself.”

Selleck, who is registered as an independent, insists “I’m not politically active. I’m politically minded.” Translation? He has appeared on Nightline and The McLaughlin Group, thrown a party to honor golf partner and then-President Ronald Reagan and vocally supported George Bush.

The cigar-smoking, shotgun-collecting rancher says he resigned in disgrace from his only elected office—president of his ninth-grade class—because of bad grades. Selleck also denies Dowd’s assertion that his scene-stealing lip lock with Kevin Kline in In and Out is a bid to woo gay voters. But that’s all he’ll say about it: “I don’t want what the movie says about honesty and intolerance to get lost in some goofy little kiss.”