Newly retired Representative Barney Frank confirmed Friday morning his interest in temporarily filling John Kerry's soon-to-be abandoned Senate Seat — and said that he'd told Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick "I would now like, frankly, to do that." Here's the clip from MSNBC's Morning Joe:
Last month, before Kerry was appointed Secretary of State, Frank would neither confirm or deny his interest in being Massachusetts' placeholder Senator, telling Politico that "accepting offers that haven’t been made is kind of presumptuous." But after the 16-term Congressman handed over his own seat to Joseph P. Kennedy yesterday, he went on Morning Joe's 113th Congress-apalooza this morning as enthusiastic as ever. From the transcript:
“I’m not going to be coy. It’s not something I’ve ever been good at. I’ve told the governor that I would now like frankly to do that because I would like to be a part of that. It’s only a three-month period; I wouldn’t want to do anything more. I don’t want to run again…Coach, put me in!”
Patrick has not made clear his intentions, saying that he will not appoint a successor until Kerry is confirmed. Vicki Kennedy, the wife of former Senator Ted Kennedy, has also been rumored as a possible temporary replacement. Either way, the appointment would only be a temporary position, as speculation continues leading up to a special election for the open Senate seat in the spring.
Update, 9:37 a.m.: Frank tells The Boston Globe that he changed his mind on coming out of retirement (albeit temporarily) after the fiscal-cliff deal, insisting that he can help solve the looming fiscal issues to come:
“The first months of the new Senate will be among the most important in American history. I may be a little immodest, but I called the governor and said I think I can be a help in reaching a fair solution to some of these issues,” Frank said.
“I think there are progressive ways to work on Social Security and Medicare. I think making the case against them (Tea Party Republicans) on the debt limit is important,” he added.
The governor's office told the Globe that Patrick had not changed his position since Frank's comments this morning.