Editorial

Maine: Barney Frank, ayuh

A few weeks back, Barney Frank caused a minor traffic jam near the State House. A Boston policeman lowered his window to tell Frank he wished he’d gotten the appointment to fill John Kerry’s US Senate seat. A number of pedestrians were quick to second that sentiment. Spotting Frank from a distance, two women rushed across Beacon Street to thank him for his many battles in the congressional trenches.

So imagine the surprise when the Maine Sunday Telegram announced that “former congressman and new Maine resident Barney Frank will be a regular contributor to the Telegram’s Insight section.” Or when one of Frank’s columns ran with this tag line: “Barney Frank is a former Massachusetts congressman . . . He lives with his husband in Ogunquit.”

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Had Frank really decamped for the Pine Tree State? One begins to picture him in L.L. Bean boots, the better to survive Maine’s mud season — though it is hard to imagine him adapting his mile-a-minute speaking speed to Maine’s laconic style.

But it turns out that Frank’s transplantation to the Pine Tree State has been overstated.

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“No, I have not moved to Maine,” Frank says. Yes, he’s spending considerable time in Ogunquit, where he and his husband have a house, particularly as he beavers away on a book defending the role of government. But he has also kept his apartment in Newton. Not only is he frequently in Massachusetts, but he is hoping to have a teaching gig here this fall.

“I am very much bi-state,” Frank reports.

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