This was a bit of a surprise.
It’s the end of an era in Congress, with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) heading for retirement, capping off 32 years in the House of Representatives as an outspoken voice for liberal Democrats.
The Boston Globe reports that Frank’s decision was spurred in large part by redistricting, with him having lost some key strongholds and gained some relatively more conservative areas. On the other hand, Dem sources point out that the redrawn district is still heavily Democratic, having voted 61% for Barack Obama in 2008. A Dem source in Massachusetts says that a potential candidate is Brookline Selectwoman Jesse Mermell, who is said to have been putting her name around in case of a possible Frank retirement.
Unlike a lot of his fellow Democrats, Mr. Frank has never backed down from a fight, never kept his flaws and his charms from being very visible, and he was always willing to confront wrongs — and idiots — when he saw them.
And it looks like he’s not going to go quietly, either.