SENATOR Barney Frank?
I saw some online link that referred to this as a "comeback" for Barney, which seems pretty silly, since he doesn't have anything to come back from. He wasn't pushed out of public office; he leapt. And while it's just a caretaker role, until Massachusetts can organize a special election to replace State-bound Sen. John Kerry, the idea of Barney back in the mix is pretty invigorating.
Posted: 01/04/2013 8:29 am EST | Updated: 01/04/2013 10:34 am EST
Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who just left the House of Representatives Thursday after 32 years, said Friday that he has told Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) that he would like an interim appointment to fill the Senate seat that would open if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is confirmed as secretary of state.
"A few weeks ago, I said I wasn't interested. It was kind of like, you're about to graduate and they said, you've got to go to summer school. But that [fiscal cliff] deal now means that February, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial history," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"Yes, in fact, I'm not going to be coy, it's not anything I've ever been good at. I've told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to be a part of that. It's only a three-month period, I wouldn't want to do anything more, but to be honest, it's a little arrogant."
Said Frank, "Coach, put me in."
The placeholder seat would open in the Senate between Kerry's exit and a special election for the remainder of his term, expected in early summer. Patrick has said that he is strongly leaning toward appointing a caretaker for the Senate seat, as happened after the death of former Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Frank, 72, has said that he has no interest in running for the Senate seat in a special election, but that he wouldn't refuse an appointment.
Frank, former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, played a pivotal role in both the negotiations over the Troubled Asset Relief Program and financial reform, where he passed legislation known as Dodd-Frank.
Other names mentioned for the interim appointment have included Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, and former Gov. Michael Dukakis (D), who said he wasn't interested.
Nobody seems to know how Gov. Deval Patrick might feel about the idea of appointing Barney to that interim Senate spot, but it sounds like a swell idea to me.
(By the way, in terms of the "caretaker" nature of this appointment, reflecting Massachusetts's need to maintain full Senate representation before the new elected interim senator takes up his/her post, it may not be well known but Barney has a record in the House of truly outstanding constituent service. It's something that has always been of prime importance to him.)