The intemperate and often disheveled Barney Frank, the longtime gay Democrat from Massachusetts, has emerged as a leading figure in the government’s response to the Wall Street banking crisis.
Frank is leading Congressional Democrats in negotiating a bailout this week and his chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee also helps put him in the middle of the storm. He’s all over the news.
Trouble is, while he’s got a wit that produces memorable sound bites, Frank has the appearance of someone better suited for, well, radio. Could someone please get him a session with the Fab Five? A little Queer Eye for the frumpy gay guy?
His quips from this week include:
On the bailout package: “I think it’s the longest Hail Mary in the history of football or Marys.”
On President Bush’s prime time address: “I’m glad the president said what he said. It’s not that making the speech was going to help, but failure to make a speech was probably hurting. In America, if you don’t hear from the president, it’s not a crisis.”
On Sen. John McCain halting his campaign to return to D.C.: “All of a sudden, now that we’re on the verge of making a deal, John McCain drops himself in to make a deal. I really worry about this politicization of it. Frankly, we’re going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill, where I think we’re getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo-op, and then come back and get on to it. We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign.”
But really. He’s got to have a gay aide in his office that can straighten his tie, tuck in his shirt and press his suit jacket before he steps in front of a camera. A little polish wouldn’t hurt.
Frank, one of only two openly gay members of Congress, helped create the LGBT Equality Caucus last year. He’s also been honored for his two decades of service in Congress as an openly gay lawmaker.