Barney Frank Will Leave Congress to Focus On Writing

Eric Scheiner | November 28, 2011 | 2:29pm EST
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( - Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts says he does not intend to seek re-election in 2012, so he can focus on his writing.

During a press conference in Massachusetts, Frank cited two major reasons for retiring from office. One was the new redistricting map that he feels presented new campaigning challenges, the other is so he can write.

“I was a fledgling academic, I think I have the longest uncompleted Ph.D. thesis in Harvard history haunting me,” Frank said during his Monday conference.

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“Some people are able to write and also pursue an active life. I am easily distracted by a-- I started to write in the statement ‘the blank page’ but I want to be au courant, ‘the blank screen’. I will take almost any excuse not to write and I do want to write and I want to write about some serious issues.”

The 16-term congressman said he was torn about writing or running for office. When the new congressional districts were drawn up in Massachusetts presenting new campaign hurdles, it sealed his decision.

“I would have a hard time going to 325-thousand new people, some of them in areas I’m not very familiar with, like the Blackstone Valley and say; ‘by the way I would like to be your congressman for two years,’ because it was always clear that I would be retiring after the next term,” Frank said.

The 71-year old liberal lawmaker vowed not to drop out of politics completely. “I‘m not retiring from advocacy of public policy.”

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