From our Call and Response desk
Yesterday a Boston Globe editorial called on Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint Barney Frank (D-I Love Me) to fill the interim U.S. Senate seat created by John Kerry’s departure for the State Department.
‘DOES IT matter, in the case of Congressman Frank, what I would have preferred?” quipped Governor Patrick, after Barney Frank announced to the nation — on “Morning Joe,” no less — that he is seeking Patrick’s support for the four-month interim appointment to replace Senator John Kerry. Yes, Frank can be obnoxious, even to his friends. And as a retiring congressman who relishes the idea of never again going before the voters, he’s as unleashed as he ever has been. Washington, watch out.
But as Patrick acknowledged, Frank is an excellent candidate for interim senator. Choosing him would serve two important purposes. First, since he’s emphatically ruled out any future election, his selection would allow the voters to choose a permanent senator without having one of the candidates anointed by the governor. Second, he would be effective immediately as a senator, since he’s about as knowledgeable on federal budget issues as anyone in Congress. That’s crucial because budget cutting will be the prime agenda item for the next four months.
Paging Fannie Mae. Paging Ms. Fannie Mae.
Today Joe Fitzgerald responded in his Boston Herald column.
Here’s why Barney Frank is no favorite at this address.
No, it’s got nothing to do with philosophical or lifestyle issues, because total agreement has never been the litmus test for admiring someone here; if it were, this writer would have spent his career surrounded by a very small circle of kindred spirits.
Indeed, Barney, of all polar opposites, should have been easy to admire here because of his mastery of the language and an agile mind that churned out memorable quips . . .
Barney had the stuff of a bon vivant, a hail fellow well met, a joy to be around. Instead he was too often an unpleasant sort, as if an anger festered within him just waiting for an excuse to be unleashed.
Even the Globe, in yesterday’s fawning editorial urging Gov. Deval Patrick to grant Barney’s wish for a four-month interim appointment as John Kerry’s successor, thought it necessary to note, “Yes, Frank can be obnoxious, even to his friends.”
Great. That’s just what’s needed in the nation’s capital right now, an obnoxious presence in an atmosphere where cordiality is desperately needed.
In a previous incarnation, the hardreading staff had occasional contact with Frank at the local public television station. Every time, he would walk in the door in full complaint – Why am I not on the set yet? I don’t have time to wait around. Are you going to hurry this up?
Our response tended to be, “Congressman, no one wants to get you out of here faster than us.”
Not sure that extends to the U.S. Senate, though.