Soon-to-be former Rep. Barney Frank says he wouldn’t turn down an appointment to be the interim replacement for Sen. John Kerry, who was formally nominated for Secretary of State on Friday.
“The governor ought to be free to make whatever choices he makes. In Massachusetts, you’re talking about an interim, not a permanent appointment. I certainly would not take on any long-term appointment,” Frank said. “As for an interim thing, I think accepting offers that haven’t been made is kind of presumptuous.” Pressed to clarify, Frank said his answer was “not a ‘no’ or a ‘yes.’ Rejecting an offer that hasn’t been made is also presumptuous.” Speculation about the Senate appointment has focused so far on Vickie Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. If Frank were to end up getting the nod, he’d be the second openly gay senator, after Wisconsin Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin.
Barney Frank’s long-simmering enemies at the Boston Herald do not like the idea of a Senator Frank.
This is a potential nightmare scenario for Republicans who thought they’d soon be rid of the acid-tongued Bayonne, N.J., native who badgered and bullied his opponents, and the media, for years. In a bitter re-election victory speech two years ago, Frank launched a tirade against the Herald, calling the paper “irrelevant.” Can you imagine if Frank now ends up with an interim appointment in the Senate, where he’s not held accountable by voters? The surly sourpuss might even try to pass legislation abolishing all Boston newspapers with “Herald” in the name. He once told college interviewers that he was “tired” of his job in Congress, saying, “it’d be nice to have some free time, not have to read a lot of stuff I don’t care about.” And he said one of his reasons for retiring was that it would be too strenuous to campaign in a new district where many voters didn’t know him. “I don’t have to pretend to be nice to people I don’t like,” he added.