Barney Frank Goes Out with a Bang, not a Whimper

Good old Barney Frank. I can’t help but love the guy. I didn’t see his retirement announcement today, but it sounds like he gave another wide-ranging and entertaining press conference. He will be sorely missed.

From CBS News:

Citing the political challenges he faced because of congressional redistricting, prominent Democratic Rep. Barney Frank on Monday announced he will not seek re-election in 2012.


Frank said he considered announcing that this would be his last term earlier but decided against it so his influence in Washington wouldn’t be weakened. He said he was particularly concerned the new Republican House majority would leave military spending untouched as it cut other government programs and that the GOP would undo the financial reforms he worked to enact.

“A funny thing happened on my way to retirement,” Frank said. “A very conservative Republican majority took over the House… [and] the things I fought hardest for could be in jeopardy.”

Frank, considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States, is known as an outspoken liberal with a sharp tongue. His liberal positions have made him a target of conservatives, particularly after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Frank took an opportunity to take a few pokes at the current anti-Romney, Newt Gingrich.

“I did not think I had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by having Newt Gingrich be the Republican nominee,” Frank said, alluding to Gingrich’s recent rise in the polls and the fact that many Democrats consider the former House speaker unelectable.


Frank took another shot at Gingrich when asked whether he would work as a lobbyist after retiring from Congress. “I will neither be a lobbyist or a historian,” Frank said, alluding to Gingrich’s claims that he worked as a historian — but not a lobbyist — for mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

In addition, Frank challenged Gingrich to a debate.

Frank said he would be interested to debate the repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act with the former House Speaker:

FRANK: I did not think I had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the Republican nominee. It still is unlikely, but I have hopes. Let me say, for example, I intend to continue to be an advocate of public policy. I look forward to debating, to take one important example, the Defense of Marriage Act with Mr. Gingrich. I think he is an ideal opponent for us, when we talk about just who it is, is threatening the sanctity of marriage.

Thanks for the hard work and the laughs, Barney. I for one will really miss you!

2 Comments on “Barney Frank Goes Out with a Bang, not a Whimper”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Interesting speculation that RFK’s grandson might run for the seat.

  2. Susan says:

    While I thoroughly enjoy Frank’s ability to piss off Newtie, he should have been paying more attention to the economy. He was hired by Democrats to represent the people’s interests. He wasn’t the only one who claimed to have been blind-sided by the financial meltdown but staying on top of the economy and banking was his specific assignment in the House and he failed miserably.