Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Barney Frank Denied Interim Senator Post

William Cowan, a former aide to Governor Deval Patrick, will represent Massachusetts

Print Email
Barney Frank(AP)

Representative Barney Frank’s hopes for a short respite from his short-lived retirement hit a speed bump yesterday when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick named William Cowan as newly-confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry’s replacement in the Senate. Frank, who earlier this month left the House of Representatives after 32 years, had lobbied to hold Kerry’s seat for three months before the state would hold a special election.

If the Bayonne-born Frank was upset about it, he didn’t let on.

“If I wanted to talk about feelings, I would have called Oprah,” Frank told The Hill on Wednesday when asked his feelings about being overlooked for the appointment.

As for interim Senator Cowan, his stay on Capitol Hill will be brief.

Mr. Cowan, 43, who is known as Mo, is a former partner in the politically connected law firm of Mintz Levin and will become Massachusetts’ first black senator since Edward Brooke, a Republican, held the seat from 1966 to 1978. His appointment makes Mr. Cowan the second black member to be seated in the current Senate, after Tim Scott of South Carolina was appointed by Gov. Nikki R. Haley.

Mr. Patrick had said he wanted to appoint someone who did not want to run for the seat later because that person would have to conduct a campaign while learning the ropes in the Senate, and would be unlikely to do either job well. At a packed news conference at the State House, Mr. Cowan said he would not seek the permanent office or use the appointment as a springboard later. “This is going to be a very short political career,” he vowed.

Should Frank be looking for something to do during retirement, the Scroll is always in want of contributors with razor sharp wit.

Barney Frank: ‘If I wanted to talk about feelings, I would have called Oprah’
[The Hill]
Governor Appoints Ex-Aide to Fill Kerry’s Seat [NYT]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Barney Frank Denied Interim Senator Post

William Cowan, a former aide to Governor Deval Patrick, will represent Massachusetts

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview