NEW YORK – George Clooney may have an interest in politics, both on screen and off, but public office is one role he’d never take on.

“It would never be something I’m interested in. I’m not good at the kind of compromises that you have to make to get elected,” said the ever-dapper star at the premiere of his latest political thriller, “The Ides of March,” Wednesday in New York.

Clooney’s father’s unsuccessful run for Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District in 2004 may have left a sour taste in his mouth. “I watched that happen, and I watched how frustrating it was for him, and I didn’t enjoy it,” he said. But it’s the current political climate that keeps him from throwing his hat in the ring.

“It’s still the most polarized time we’ve seen in a long time. And very caring, smart people on both sides of the aisle, you could argue, are having a very difficult time getting anything done,” said the 50-year-old Academy Award winner.

Clooney, who directed, co-wrote, produced and starred in the film opening Friday, has no regrets about his chosen career path: “I got the better gig. I got a nice house, life is good,” he said with a laugh.

In the film, Clooney’s presidential hopeful, Pennsylvania Gov. Mike Morris, faces a tragic sex scandal, compromising backroom deals, political backstabbing and blackmail. But the liberal Democrat says he’s more hopeful than he presents in “Ides,” his fifth stint in the director’s chair.

“Am I cynical? Some. But I’m also one of the big optimists in the game. I’m really optimistic about this country, I always am. I always feel like things are cyclical and I think that things will work out.”

Prince Harry to take helicopter course in U.S.

EL CENTRO, Calif. – Prince Harry will arrive in the United States next week to begin a two-month military helicopter training course.

The prince, who is a British Army captain, will spend his time between the Naval Air Facility at El Centro in southeastern California and an Air Force station in Gila Bend, Ariz.

British Army Maj. Marc Briggs said Thursday that the British Army trains in the Southwest because of various conditions including clear weather that allows for constant flying.

Williams, ESPN at odds over credit for split

BRISTOL, Conn. – Are you ready for some football? Hank Williams Jr. isn’t anymore.

The country singer and ESPN each took credit for the decision Thursday morning to ax his classic intro to “Monday Night Football.”

The network pulled the song from the game earlier this week after Williams made an analogy to Adolf Hitler while discussing President Obama on Fox News on Monday morning.

“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision,” Williams said in a statement to The Associated Press. “By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”

But ESPN’s statement said: “We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”

‘Terminator’ in Austria

GRAZ, Austria – “The Terminator” is back in his native Austria to inaugurate a museum devoted to him that opened in July.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s private jet landed at Graz airport Thursday.

The museum is in the renovated house of his birth in the village of Thal. It chronicles his rise from humble beginnings as a muscular young immigrant to the U.S. to Hollywood action hero to, most recently, California’s governor.