Barney Frank Would Be Cool with a Short-Term Senate Gig

Barney Frank has an amusingly cagey answer to a Politico reporter asking him whether he’d accept a nomination to serve as a temporary stand-in for John Kerry in the Senate while the state held a special election to find his permanent replacement:

“The governor ought to be free to make whatever choices he makes. In Massachusetts, you’re talking about an interim, not a permanent appointment. I certainly would not take on any long-term appointment,” Frank said. “As for an interim thing, I think accepting offers that haven’t been made is kind of presumptuous.”

He adds that his answer is “not a ‘no’ or a ‘yes.’ Rejecting an offer that hasn’t been made is also presumptuous.”

This isn’t actually the strangest idea we’ve ever heard. Frank often moans about how fed up he is with Congress and how much he looks forward to retirement. But he notes that he’s still excited to keep up appearances on cable news and in the commentariat, so it’s not as if a brief stint in the Senate will actually put him out too severely.

If Patrick again commits to naming a candidate who won’t run for the permanent position, as he did in the Brown-Coakley race, he’ll have to find someone available to be Senator for just a few months. Frank is certainly someone immediately available, someone with no ambitions for the seat, and someone who can keep the trains running in a Congressional office while we endure yet another election. He’s certainly a more traditional Senator than say … Ben Affleck.