The best Barney Frank quotes, as the Congressman decides he will not run for re-election

Frank shares his reasons for retiring at a press conference yesterday.

Known for his quips, quick responses and snarky comments over the last three decades, Congressman Barney Frank announced yesterday he would not run for re-election in 2012.

“I will miss this job, but one of the advantages of not running for office is I don’t even have to pretend to be nice to people I don’t like,” said Frank during a press conference in Newton.

Frank was on the forefront of initiatives such as the Dodd-Frank Act for Wall Street reform.?He was also the first openly gay elected official to serve as a U.S. representative.

After 16 terms in office, the Newton democrat said he will bow out before seeking an election bid next year.

Citing the recent congressional redistricting as one reason he won’t attempt an additional term, Frank said yesterday he couldn’t run in an area that would be “half new” voters.

“It would have been a rough campaign,” he said.

Frank said he will concentrate on writing in his retirement, but won’t become a lobbyist or lawyer.
Gov. Deval Patrick said yesterday that a generation of Bay State residents have known Frank for his wisdom and wit, and he would be sorely missed.

“He has earned the good wishes of the people of the Commonwealth,” said Patrick.

The quotable Barney Frank
“Gay people have a different role than other minority groups. … Very few black kids have ever had to worry about telling their parents that they were black.” –
“Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to have an argument with a dining room table.” — at a 2009 health care meeting
“This bill is the legislative equivalent of crack. It yields a short-term high but does long-term      damage to the system, and it’s expensive to boot.” – to the Washington Post in 1986, on anti-drug legislation vote

“A year ago, we were being told, you have to deregulate more. Now, we are going to have to save capitalism from the capitalists.” –

“I’m used to being in the minority. I’m a left-handed, gay Jew. I’ve never felt, automatically, a member of any majority.” –

“We plan to spend several billion dollars to protect the Czech Republican against Iran. That’s either a great waste of money or a very belated way to make up for Munich.” –

“We have a besetting sin today in our politics where people think that you show your depth of commitment to a cause by rigidity, not just by rigidity, but impugning the motives of those on your side who try to get something done.” —

“I do not think that any self-respecting radical in history would have considered advocating people’s rights to get married, join the Army, and earn a living as a terribly inspiring revolutionary platform.”
– On being accused of having a “radical gay agenda,” at

“To some extent, financial institutions have latched onto the motto of a 14-year-old child of divorced parents playing Mommy off against Daddy: ‘Well, if you don’t treat me better, I’m going to England.” –


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