So now that both Ben Affleck and Ted Kennedy Jr. have declined the honor, I say it’s time for Barney Frank to be offered the interim Senate position (between Kerry’s confirmation as Secretary of State and the mandated special election five months later). Via Wonkette, from Politico:
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank isn’t ruling out a short-term stint in the U.S. Senate, if President Barack Obama taps Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state.
If Kerry is nominated and confirmed to the job, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick would appoint a temporary senator to fill the seat until a special election is held next year. Frank, the liberal icon who’s retiring at the end of the year after more than three decades in the House, has said he would not run in a special election.
But in an interview with POLITICO Wednesday, the former House Financial Services Committee chairman said he wouldn’t necessarily say “no” to a short-term, caretaker appointment – not that anyone’s offering yet.
“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.”…
Now, perhaps “the 72-year-old Newton Democrat says he is worn out and eager to begin a new chapter”, but he’s still capable of upholding the fine Commonwealth traditions of cherishing grudges and speaking bluntly (i.e., calling Scalia “just a flat out bigot“). Because this is a guy I’d like to see on the Senate floor, even if just for a few months:
… In the House, chatter routinely permeates the chamber when other members speak. But when Frank takes to the floor, a hush suddenly descends, said Representative Jim McGovern of Worcester.
“Republicans hate debating him because he makes them feel stupid, and he’s clear about it,” said McGovern. “Watching him perform on the House floor is like going to a Broadway show.”…
“This is a man who worked really hard and never let a detail slip by him,” said Representative Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat and close friend whose house Frank is now living in. “There aren’t too many members who have the guts to say what’s on their minds whenever they want to say it, and who are factually accurate. But he deserves another stage in life.”…
“He’s put in his time. He looks forward to not having to report for floor duty and votes, but he’s not going to fold his tent up and disappear into the wilderness,” said Senator John Kerry.