It looks like former Congressman Barney Frank isn’t quite ready to leave Capitol Hill after all.
One day out of retirement as a member of the House of Representatives, Barney Frank said today that he has asked Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to appoint him as the interim senator to replace John Kerry, who is expected to be confirmed Secretary of State later this month.
Frank, a gay Massachusetts Democrat, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe talk show panel on that he would like to serve as U.S. senator from Massachusetts for the several months before a special election chooses Kerry’s replacement.
Host Joe Scarborough, racing to close off the eight-minute free-for-all “exit interview” with Frank, asked: “Former Congressman Barney Frank, would you consider possibly being future Senator Barney Frank if the governor calls you and says …”
“Yeah,” said Frank, before the question was fully out of Scarborough’s mouth.
” … fill in for a few months?”
“A month ago, a few weeks in fact, I said I wasn’t interested,” said Frank. “It was kinda like you’re about to graduate and they said you’ve got to go to summer school. But that [temporary fiscal cliff] deal now means that February, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial …”
“So, you’d consider it?” interjected Scarborough.
“Yes, in fact, I’m not going to be coy, it’s not anything I’ve ever been very good at, but I’ve told the governor that I would like, frankly, to do that because I would like to be a part of that.”
President Barack Obama nominated Kerry December 15 to replace retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Patrick said, at a press conference December 21, that he would not name anyone to the seat until after Kerry is confirmed. But that process is not expected to take long because Kerry appears to have widespread support from his Senate colleagues in both parties.
Other names being tossed around the rumor mill as potential interim senators include Mike Dukakis, a former Democratic governor of Massachusetts, and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Frank has the advantage of still having a residence and staff in Washington.
Meanwhile, former Senator Scott Brown, a Republican who held the Kennedy seat until he was replaced by newly sworn-in Senator Elizabeth Warren this week, is expected to run for the Kerry seat. And, at the moment, Democrats in Massachusetts appear to be coalescing behind Representative Ed Markey, who has announced his bid for the Kerry seat.
Frank, 70, who just retired after more than 30 years in Congress, said he is not interested in running for the Kerry Senate seat.
- Reported by Lisa Keen