Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Barney Frank: schlub

The New Republic has a fabulous piece by Michelle Cottle about my personal favorite member of Congress, Barney Frank.

I can personally attest to Frank's orneriness and dyspepsia.

A few years ago I had heard some very vague rumblings about how he was sponsoring some sort of diplomatic move to give gay Palestinians political asylum in Israel. It sounded like an interesting story so I called his office to get more information.

I was more than a little surprised when about 15 minutes later Frank himself called me back.

He was all business and I hadn't figured out what to ask him yet.

After I stammered through three or four questions, and asked a question he felt had been covered, he said, "Max, I explained this to you -- now I don't have time for this."

"Oh, OK."

I got off the phone as quickly as possible and that was pretty much the end of that. But, oddly, being dismissed so brusquely by Frank only deepened my respect for him. (It's a technique I've found works a lot with dating; the girls are always more interested in the guys who won't give them the time of day.)

But schlub-watchers out there should note this from the Cottle article:

"One Democratic staffer describes a last minute meeting that congressional leadership called on a late September evening with Henry Paulson and key Hill negotiators: 'Here comes Barney careening around the corner. Slovenly. Unkempt. His shirt was out, and his zipper was down. ... It was classic Barney.'" 

Welcome to the family, Barney.