Barney Frank not shutting door to Senate appointment

December 21, 2012

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) isn't saying "no" to the idea of serving as interim senator from Massachusetts -- although he notes he hasn't been asked.

President Obama's decision to nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as secretary of state means that, should Kerry get confirmed, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) would appoint a successor who would serve until a special election is held next year.

Amid speculation that he could be that choice, the retiring Frank has said that he thinks it would be "arrogant" to turn down a job he haven't been approached about yet.

"I'm not going to say 'no' to something that's not been offered to me," Frank said in an interview off the House floor Thursday night.

Asked about his post-congressional plans, Frank said: "I have plans to write books, give lectures and make money." But he also pointed out that a short-term appointment would be just that -- a short-term one.

In 2009, following the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Patrick appointed Democrat Paul Kirk to serve as interim senator. Kirk, the co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, served until Republican Scott Brown won election in the January 2010 special election.

Frank, for his part, on Thursday dismissed a question on whether he hopes Patrick might tap him.

"I hope it all goes away," he said.

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