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Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 11/29/2011

Frank was parliamentary prodigy in college; a legend de-bunked (read-this roundup)

In the lauding of Washington fixture Rep. Barney Frank, who announced Monday that he won’t seek another term, less has been made of his skills as a parliamentarian than of his quirky character and combative demeanor.
In college, Barney Frank was brushing up on parliamentary procedure while other kids were reading comics. (Getty 2010 file)

But our colleague Robert Kaiser, in an essay about the Massachusetts Democrat, reveals a tidbit that goes a long way to explain the gen­esis of Frank’s reputation as one of the shrewdest masters of the arcane rules that govern Congress.

When Kaiser met Frank (the two were participating in a mock-Congress event for college students), Frank was already a precocious student of the legislative process. “Frank was the delegate from Harvard who knew Robert’s Rules of Order backward and forward,” Kaiser writes.

Elsewhere, the Reliable Source breaks our heart by debunking the oft-told story about former Rep. John Jenrette’s romantic tryst on the steps of the Capitol building; and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann can’t even tell the truth about telling the truth, our colleague Glenn Kessler points out in his latest Fact Checker installment.

By  |  10:47 AM ET, 11/29/2011

 
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