‘DOES IT matter, in the case of Congressman Frank, what I would have preferred?” quipped Governor Patrick, after Barney Frank announced to the nation — on “Morning Joe,” no less — that he is seeking Patrick’s support for the four-month interim appointment to replace Senator John Kerry. Yes, Frank can be obnoxious, even to his friends. And as a retiring congressman who relishes the idea of never again going before the voters, he’s as unleashed as he ever has been. Washington, watch out.
But as Patrick acknowledged, Frank is an excellent candidate for interim senator. Choosing him would serve two important purposes. First, since he’s emphatically ruled out any future election, his selection would allow the voters to choose a permanent senator without having one of the candidates anointed by the governor. Second, he would be effective immediately as a senator, since he’s about as knowledgeable on federal budget issues as anyone in Congress. That’s crucial because budget cutting will be the prime agenda item for the next four months. And Frank, who’s toiled fruitlessly in the Republican-led House alongside GOP gadfly Ron Paul on a plan to trim the defense budget, would finally get to make his case in the Senate.