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Frank Says Democrats Healing After Extended Primary Fight

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Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) sits down with washingtonpost.com's Ben Pershing to discuss recent housing legislation and the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections in November. Video by AJ Chavar, Megan Rossman , Emily Freifeld/washingtonpost.com

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By Ben Pershing
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 5, 2008; 10:18 AM

Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.), one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's (N.Y.) most prominent House supporters during the Democratic presidential primary, says the previously tense relationship between her backers and those of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) is gradually improving and that he expects his fellow Clintonites will fully embrace the party nominee by Election Day.

Interviewed just before Congress recessed last week for washingtonpost.com's PostTalk series, the House Financial Services Chairman also predicted the recently--enacted housing bill would help stem foreclosures, that Congress would tackle a second stimulus package when it returns in September and that race would continue to play a key role in the contest for the White House. And Frank, who endorsed Clinton last November and served as an economic adviser to her campaign, said he has already witnessed a thaw between Obama and Clinton.

"There does not seem to me to be any realistic chance that any of the strong Clinton supporters are going to hold back by the time the election comes," Frank said.

The Massachusetts lawmaker did not dismiss the idea that there was tension between the two camps. On the contrary, he suggested he would be surprised if there weren't at least some sore feelings.

"Candidates tend to tell two lies," Frank said. "One: 'I love campaigning.' There's something the matter with you if you like political campaigning for yourself. The other is, 'We ran against each other but we're good friends.'

"Suppose you had a job, or you wanted a job, and somebody else went to the boss and said, 'Don't hire her, she's a bum. She doesn't know what she's doing. Boy, will she ruin things. Hire me, I'm much better.' If that's your idea of a friend, you're a weird person. And so, we never like the people we run against. So obviously there's friction, and that includes the people closest to us. But I think it's getting much better and I give Senator Clinton a great deal of credit."


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