For many, it’s the end of an error. Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has announced his retirement plans.
He announced his decisions in his hometown of Newton Mass recently, saying that redistricting has played a major role in his decision to end his three-decade long political career. First elected in 1980, Frank has risen over the years to be one of the country’s most powerful, and openly-gay, elected officials.
A Long Legacy
He has been a champion for gay rights, he has campaigned to end the military’s ban on gays serving openly, he is the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, and he was the architect of the Wall Street regulatory reform law that went into place in 2010.
Frank’s announcement caused many in office to reflect on his years of service and on his character. As President Barack Obama said,
“This country has never had a congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him. It is only thanks to his leadership that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever happening again.”
Candor with the Press
Using his usual candor when talking with reporters at his retirement announcement, Rep. Frank said,
“Maybe you’re going to laugh, but one of the advantages to me of not running for office is, I don’t even have to pretend to try to be nice to people I don’t like anymore. You may not think I’ve been good at it, but I’ve been trying.”
He hopes to continue to be effective on the outside and to focus on “writing, teaching and lecturing” from his home base in Newton and in Maine, where his long-time partner has a house.