The reason for this change of heart? The first months of the Senate session will be chock-full o' nuts with interesting issues, what with the debt-limit fight, the sequester fight, and so on, all occurring at once. Frank said it might be “immodest,” but he believes his experience would help the Democratic Party at a crucial time. (He said he wouldn’t run for a full term. But who knows?)
“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 told The Boston Globe on Friday. “A split emerged in the Republican Party over the fiscal cliff, with mainstream Republicans splitting with the radical right. I think it’s important for us to continue to exploit that. We need to reach out to conservative Republicans who nonetheless are willing to compromise and find a way to reach a deal.”
Hmm. We’ve got a few thoughts on this matter, unsurprisingly. The first is obvious: This is going to drive conservatives bonkers. Most interim senators are worthy placeholders who don’t engage much in partisan politics. (See “Sen. Paul Kirk (D) of Massachusetts, 2009-2010”). Sen. Barney Frank, on the other hand, would not be there just to keep the office lights on.