Bailout Gives Barney Frank Star Turn

Expertise makes feisty Mass. Congressman key to handling financial crisis
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2008 12:57 PM CST
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. presides over a hearing on Capitol Hill, Nov. 12, 2008.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Through decades in Washington, Barney Frank has developed a reputation as a brainy, if less than polite, liberal attack dog. It’s been a bumpy ride for the House Financial Services chairman, including implication in a male-prostitution scandal, writes Michelle Cottle in the New Republic—but as Congress grapples with the financial crisis, the “pugilistic” Massachusetts Democrat is in his element, with “a shot at redemption.”

Frank is an expert at making himself heard—even if that means drowning out President Bush in a contentious meeting. But he was an asset in pushing through the administration’s financial bailout—rallying his party, offering “liberal bona fides” to the plan, and defending it from bipartisan attacks. And though he claims he’s “tired” after 40 years, “there's nothing I would give this job up for.”