News & Politics

Barney Frank Wants to Take Over for John Kerry in Senate, Temporarily

Meanwhile, likely candidate Scott Brown launches personal attack on potential opponent.

Photo Credit: U.S. Congress

With the news that John Kerry would take the reigns as secretary of state in the second Obama administration, there’s been much speculation about who would take over Kerry’s Massachusetts Senate seat.

Barney Frank is one candidate for the job, at least temporarily. The recently retired Massachusetts Rep. expressed interest in seeking a three-month appointment to fill the seat until a special election is held. The Hill reports:

Frank, who just retired from Congress, said Friday he had asked Massachusettes Gov. Deval Patrick for the appointement, which would put the outspoken Democrat in the Senate while Kerry seeks confirmation as secretary of State. 

Frank said he wanted the appointment so that he could serve during looming negotiations on the debt ceiling and sequester.

"I'm not going to be coy, it's not [something] I've ever been good at, I told the governor I would now like frankly to do that, because I would like to be part of that," Frank told MSNBC. "It would only be a three-month period, I wouldn't want to do anything more, I wouldn't run again."

Frank went on to say that the recent fiscal cliff deal “now means Feburary, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial history.” Meanwhile, Gov. Patrick says he’ll appoint someone “pretty quickly” – likely someone who does not plan to run in the special election.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown, who lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren in November, seems likely to run in the special election and has already started attacking potential opponents. As the Boston Globe reported Wednesday, Brown questioned the resident status of Rep. Edward Markey on a local radio program: “I’ll tell you what; They’re making it awfully tempting,” Brown said, of his possible run. “You got Ed Markey: Does he even live here any more?.... You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth [from Washington to Boston] every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane – ever.”

Scott Brown, always keeping it classy.

Lauren Kelley is the activism and gender editor at AlterNet and a freelance journalist based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Salon, Time Out New York, the L Magazine, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter.