Retired Rep. Barney Frank is winning a wave of new support to temporarily replace Sen. John Kerry when he becomes secretary of state, putting new pressure on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to pick the Democratic firebrand.
Leading the charge is the Boston Globe which this week backed Frank, with a back-handed compliment. "Yes, Frank can be obnoxious, even to his friends. And as a retiring congressman who relishes the idea of never again going before the voters, he's as unleashed as he ever has been. Washington, watch out," said the Globe.
But insiders say that Frank's campaigning for the job is winning friends. He's even received support in a public petition.
Leading that effort is John Kelley, a semi-retired senior from Norfolk, Mass. His group said he started his petition to fight GOP budget cuts. "At a time like this, we need someone with the courage, the conviction and the experience to stand up for seniors and working families in Congress--and we can't think of anyone who would do a better job over the next few months than Barney Frank," said Kelley in a release to Secrets. Barney Frank has never been afraid of a fight, and if appointed to the Senate to replace John Kerry, he won't back down in defending working families and seniors like me."
So far he claims thousands have signed his petition.
Frank has said that he wouldn't use the appointment to run for Kerry's seat. Rep. Ed Markey has a lock on the Democratic nomination so far.
Despite the pressure, Patrick remains lukewarm toward Frank.