letters | the interim senator who might have been

Outspoken Frank would have stirred GOP machine

Scot Lehigh’s observation that former representative Barney Frank “can be a cranky customer” is perhaps the best rationale for why Governor Patrick opted to go with the less controversial William “Mo” Cowan as interim US senator (“Mo Cowan isn’t the best option,” BostonGlobe.com, Jan. 30). Frank would have been more effective in the seat, but he also would have provided extra motivation for the right wing to support the Republican candidate in the upcoming special election.

Frank is regarded as a demonic figure by the right, loathed for his commitment to progressive principles and falsely blamed for solely bringing about the 2008 economic crisis; having Frank in the Senate would have sent the right into emotional overdrive, fueling a right-wing engine that could run over a Democratic general-election contender. Perhaps Patrick figured that having a quiet man such as Cowan in the Senate instead of the outspoken Frank would reduce conservative rage.

D. R. Tucker