Why it won’t be Barney Frank
Tuesday night marked the end of what was likely the final full day of campaigning in Barney Frank’s long political career. The former congressman and liberal icon unexpectedly inserted himself several weeks ago into the race to fill a four-month interim Senate appointment – a race that has only one declared candidate (Frank himself) and that will be decided by only one voter, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
With the Senate confirming John Kerry as Secretary of State late Tuesday, Patrick is set to announce his pick in Boston today, with the appointee serving through the June 25 special election, which will fill the remaining 18 months of Kerry’s term. Because of his national reputation, Frank’s quest for the appointment has attracted considerable attention, and his central argument seems reasonable enough: Frank is legislatively savvy and has long been a champion of an expansive social safety net; with rollbacks to Medicare and Social Security potentially on the table in the coming months, Democrats could do worse than to have his experience and voice in the Senate.