Last week we told you about Bill Clinton's appearance in MA-04 on behalf of Barney Frank, suggesting that the race could be much closer than Frank would like to admit. Today Byron York profiles Frank's serious young opponent--Sean Bielat--who's very impressive, indeed:
Bielat is 35 years old, a Marine who spent four years on active duty and is now a major in the Reserve. He's a graduate of Georgetown University with a master's from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton. He's devoted a good portion of his professional life to manufacturing the high-tech robots that defuse improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bielat summarizes the case against his opponent in three points:
Ask Bielat to name the three worst things Frank has done in office and you get an idea of what his focus would be, if elected. "You've got to start with Freddie and Fannie and his unending push to expand homeownership," Bielat says. "He definitely played an enormous role in getting us where we are today in terms of the real estate bubble and the ensuing financial collapse."
Number two? "Financial reform, because it doesn't address Fannie and Freddie and vastly expands oversight of the financial services sector."
Three? "His view on what government should and should not do." Simply put, Frank wants an always-expanding federal government, and Bielat doesn't.
Evidently, Barney Frank isn't fond of the criticism that comes with a competitive race, as his catty treatment of Bielat demonstrates:
It was in August, at a parade in New Bedford. "I went up to introduce myself and said, 'Nice to meet you,'" Bielat recalls. "He said, 'I wish I could say the same, but you've made this personal. You've been attacking me.' Then he turned and walked away."
Rudeness plus arrogance is not an attractive combination, Barney.