The best and worst of Barney Frank

Barney Frank, the combative Massachusetts Democrat, is announcing he won’t run for re-election.

Frank is one of the most quoted politicians, partly because of his unusual ability to tell his constituents when they were wrong. This exchange with a constituent was classic Barney Frank.

Rep. Frank was an old-school debater, ignoring printed speeches in favor of off-the-cuff oratory, as in this exchange with Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2009 on the question of federal funds for ACORN.

But part of the representative’s style was often to to belittle those asking the occasional good question. The late CNBC anchor Mark Haines, who rarely let a speech go unchallenged by any politician, proved more than Mr. Frank’s equal in 2009.

  • jfh

    This announcement makes my day. One down, many to go–but, as with most lawyers, it is a good start.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Frank will be dearly missed by those who appreciate intelligent – albeit at times irascible – discourse from our politicians.

  • Dan Gilchrist


    We need more details on that tweet about when he first visited your little radio station.

  • Bob Collins

    I don’t have very many more, other than the fact that — considering he was replacing Father Drinan — it was a bit of a whiplash.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Bob – Drinan was a great congressman, as is Frank, in my not so humble opinion.

    Can you explain the whiplash comment?

  • Bob Collins

    Style. From a Jesuit priest to Barney.