Retired Rep. Barney Frank Asks for Senate Appointment

One day after leaving public office, Frank begs Mass. governor for Senate appointment.

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It's been less than 24 hours since Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank walked out of the House of Representatives and retired, but can he stay away?

Frank announced Friday morning that he is very interested in being a placeholder for Sen. John Kerry's Senate seat, which Kerry will give up to become Secretary of State at the end of the month.

"A month ago, a few weeks ago, I said I was not interested. It's like when you are about to graduate and they tell you that you have to go to summer school," Frank told MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I am not going to be coy. ... I have told the governor that I would now like frankly to do that because I would like to be a part of that. It is only a three-month period. I don't want to do anything more. I don't want to run again."

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Frank served more than 30 years in the House of Representatives and was elected as the first openly gay member in Congress in the 1980s. His legacy as the chairman of the Financial Services Committee led to some of the most drastic reforms of the country's banking regulations. Now, with a plan to kick spending cuts down the road by two months and a debt ceiling fight waiting in the wings, Frank thinks he could be a big help.

"That deal now means March and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial [reform]," Frank said. "Coach, put me in."

Other possible Senate fillers whose names have been floated include former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and late Sen. Ted Kennedy's wife Vicki Kennedy.

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But if Frank is selected to fill in, don't call him Senator.

"I would rather be a congressman. ... Thirty-two years in the House, three months in the Senate, I am a House member."

Frank emphasizes that his time in the Senate would be short lived, and that he will not run in the special election. Instead, he plans on appearing as a television commentator, writing a few books, and teaching.

"I am basically going to run my mouth for money," Frank joked. "And I am not marching in any more parades ever."

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