From Barney Frank, who announced this week that he will not be seeking reelection in 2012, ending 32 years in the House of Representatives. Frank has been one of the few legislators I’ve genuinely liked, despite his many flaws. He’s very smart and very funny, two things that rate very high in my book. Here’s an example of both:
He held nothing back in his criticism of the state of the House under Republican rule.
“It consists half of people who think like Michele Bachmann and half of people who are afraid of losing a primary to people who think like Michele Bachmann,” he said, “and that leaves very little room to work things out.”
Frank said he would not use his Congressional experience to secure a lucrative job lobbying his former colleagues.
“I will neither be a lobbyist nor a historian,” he said, a jab at Gingrich’s self-proclaimed $1.6 million “historian” gig for Freddie Mac. “My intention is to do some combination of writing, teaching, and lectures.”
He got in some more one-liners at Gingrich as he waded into the GOP presidential primary.
“I do not think I have lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the nominee,” he joked, calling his potential nomination “the best thing to happen to the Democratic party since Barry Goldwater.”
I’ve always found him immensely likable. He’s far more candid than most politicians, with their focus group-tested catchphrases and platitudes. And I’ll miss him being in the spotlight.