Earlier in the day, Mr. Frank announced at a news conference that he had decided to retire at the end of next year after his Massachusetts district was recently redrawn and it became clear that he would have to fight harder than he wanted for re-election.
Mr. Frank said he had intended to serve one more term but that after seeing his redrawn district, moncler jackets for women which would give him more than 300,000 new constituents and would not include blue-collar New Bedford, one of his strongholds, he changed his mind.
In the interview at his office, the wry and often cantankerous Mr. Frank — who has been among the nation’s most prominent gay elected officials, as well as a frequent target for conservatives in Congress — was relaxed and full of one-liners as he discussed the mood on Capitol Hill and his reasons for leaving. When he arrived in the House in 1981, he said, “you had Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan talking about how they were friends after 5 o’clock — although if you knew Reagan’s work habits it was really, like, after about 2:30.”
Now, Mr. Frank said, the notion that wrangling between Democrats and Republicans is “a competition between people of good will with different views on public policy” has vanished. For that, he blames Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and current Republican presidential candidate with whom he has a tense history.
“Newt’s the single biggest factor in bringing about this change,” Mr. Frank said. “He got to Congress in ’78 and said, ‘We the Republicans are not going to be able to take over unless we demonize the Democrats.’ ”
Mr. Frank also blamed the Men - moncler jackets conservative news media for the bitter divide that had made him reluctant to continue in Washington, as well as moderate voters who he said do not make their voices heard enough.
“I accept the fact there are a lot of people in the country who would like us to work together,” he said. “Unfortunately, none of them appear to have either telephones or e-mail because nobody ever hears from them about specifics. When an issue comes up, anybody who’s trying to compromise only hears from the people who say, ‘Don’t give in, don’t back off.’ ”
But Mr. Frank said he was also ready to quit politics for a more pragmatic reason: he hates raising money and campaigning, and would have had to do a lot of it over the next year. That would have been an unacceptable distraction from his policy priorities, he said, like pushing for federal deficit reduction to include cuts in military spending and continuing to advocate for financial industry reform.
“The need to campaign in a district that is almost half new conflicts with that,” he said at his news conference at Newton City Hall. “If I were to run again, I would be engaged full-fledged in a campaign, which is entirely appropriate. Nobody ought to expect to get elected without a contest. But the fact that it is so new makes it harder in terms of learning about new areas, introducing myself to new people. And I have other obligations; one is to continue to serve the people I currently serve.”
Mr. Frank said he had intended to moncler jackets retire at the end of 2014 but had decided it would have been unfair to serve new constituents for only one term.