Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:50 AM
DonViejo (17,336 posts)
Why it won’t be Barney Frank
5 reasons why the only guy openly campaigning to succeed the Massachusetts senator will probably be snubbed today
BY STEVE KORNACKI
1. He tried to corner Patrick. It wasn’t just that Frank publicly stated his interest in the appointment. He launched a full-scale pressure campaign, doing interview after interview and enlisting national liberal leaders and opinion-shaping liberal voices to plead his case – publicly and privately – to the governor. This is not how Patrick, or any governor, wants high-profile appointments handled. He had his own list of prospective candidates, his own preferred process and timeline, but Frank completely hijacked it. And with his national reputation, he’s put Patrick in a bad spot: If he goes with Frank, he looks like he was pressured into doing so; if he doesn’t, the main story in the national press will be, “Why didn’t he pick Frank” – instead of “Why Patrick did pick X.” It’s doubtful Frank did himself any favors with his aggressive pursuit of the appointment; although if he concluded early that he wasn’t on Patrick’s short-list and was unlikely to receive serious consideration, he may have reasonably concluded that a pressure campaign was his only option – even if it was a longshot.
2. Patrick was already pressured once… This is not the first interim Senate appointment Patrick has been called on to make. When Ted Kennedy passed away in 2009, he was also tasked with choosing a placeholder. There was talk that he might tap former Governor Michael Dukakis, a Patrick friend and ally, but the Kennedy family made its preference for Paul Kirk, a former DNC chairman and longtime Ted Kennedy confidante, known and the governor felt obliged to honor the wish.
3. …so he’s determined to out his own stamp on this one: It’s not that Patrick regrets the Kirk appointment or that Kirk made any mistakes during his interim stint; his main job in Washington was to vote for healthcare reform, which he did in December 2009 (although the final version didn’t pass until March 2010, after Scott Brown won a special election to replace Kirk). But Patrick is in a different place now than he was three years ago. In late ’09, his poll numbers were wobbly and his reelection prospect were iffy. But he was reelected by an unexpectedly comfortable margin in 2010 and now he’s well into his second term. He took a non-traditional, grassroots-oriented path to power in the Bay State in 2006 and has an opportunity with this appointment to make statement about his own vision of politics – one that doesn’t automatically look to the existing power structure to fill meaningful vacancies.
4. The Frank rationale is losing its steam: When Frank threw his hat in the ring, a dramatic debt ceiling showdown seemed imminent, with Republicans again threatening to force a default unless President Obama and Democrats gave serious ground on safety net programs. This was in the immediate wake of the fiscal cliff deal, which left the entitlement and debt ceiling issues unresolved – and which left some on the left wondering if Obama might blink in the face of the forthcoming Republican brinkmanship. But since then, Obama’s fiscal cliff strategy has been validated, at least partly. The GOP actually agreed to suspend the debt ceiling through May, only on the condition that the Democrats in the Senate produce a budget, and Obama didn’t even mention the “grand bargain” concept in his inaugural address. Now leading Republicans, like Paul Ryan, are suggesting that the sequester — $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts over ten years which are less harmful to Democratic priorities than to Republican priorities – may simply go into effect instead. The “grand bargain” game could still be revived this spring, and with it the questions about how what safety net cuts Obama would actually agree to, but for now the rationale for Frank’s presence in the Senate isn’t as compelling as it was a few weeks ago.
5. There’s really no political price for Patrick in saying no:
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Why it won’t be Barney Frank (Original post)
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:17 PM
bigdarryl (12,888 posts)
5. Who the fuck is this BOOZO
Chief Of Staff Barney should have gotten that appointment I like Governor Patrick a lot but BROTHER you fucked up on this one