Senator Barney Frank?

Posted: Jan 04, 2013 12:00 PM

It seems retired long-time Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank isn’t content with life outside of politics. (And he’s only been out of the public spotlight for one day!) In fact, on Friday morning he not only told Joe Scarborough and the rest of the Morning Joe crew that he was genuinely interested in serving as Massachusetts’ interim Senator -- until a special election is convened to fill John Kerry’s soon-to-be vacated Senate seat sometime next summer -- but that he’s made his request well known to the governor:

The day after his 32-year term in the House of Representatives ended, Mr. Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said on Friday morning that he would like to be appointed as an interim senator to fill John Kerry’s seat until a special election later this year.

He would not run for election, he said on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe.”

It is up to Gov. Deval Patrick to name someone to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Kerry’s nomination to be secretary of state.

If selected, Mr. Frank would be a reliable liberal vote in a series of decisions on taxes, spending and the debt that face Congress this winter and spring.

He said it was those votes that had made him think twice about his earlier disinterest in the job.

He said he had told Mr. Patrick of his interest.

Mr. Frank’s appointment would also give Massachusetts a distinctive voice in Senate on matters involving the regulation of banks. Mr. Frank steered the landmark overhaul of financial institutions through the House in the last Congress and would join newly elected Senator Elizabeth Warren, a proponent of pro-consumer banking regulations, as a fellow senator.

I’m sure this would be a welcomed appointment for the newly retired Congressman -- a cherry on top to his distinguished and influential career in the U.S. House of Representatives. On the other hand, as the historian Victor Davis Hanson points out, Barney Frank -- perhaps -- did more than any other member of Congress to bring about the 2008 financial meltdown. I imagine conservatives would instantly recoil at the very thought of Barney Frank serving in the U.S. Senate -- especially during the impending budget talks slated to begin in earnest any day now. Then again, according to Ed Morrissey, at least one former Republican Senator might benefit from Frank’s short stint in the upper chamber, an anti-tax enthusiast who’s already laying the groundwork for another special election run.