Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank does not regret his decision to retire from public office, saying Monday that he no longer flinches when the phone rings.
His comments were prompted by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) announcing Monday that he would retire at the end of 2014.
Miller may have decided to step down after 40 years in Congress because the job had finally become too stressful, Frank told Talking Points Memo shortly after the California congressman made the announcement.
“I’ve been there and I understand why he would do it and I bet you that George will continue to play a very major role in advocacy but the question is not why he’s retiring now,” Frank said. “I am not at all surprised that after 40 years of stress he just doesn’t want to do it anymore.”
Frank, who announced his retirement plans in 2011, became notorious in Congress for his support for far-left policies and the role he played in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
“I’m a few years older than George but I also called it quits after 40 years and it wasn’t because I thought we’d take the House back. Frankly, at that point, if someone had told me at the beginning of 2011 that we’d take the House back I would’ve quit earlier,” Frank said.
Miller has recently been involved in the Democrats’ push to increase the minimum wage, something the White House has readily accepted.
So why is Miller stepping down? Again, Frank theorized, it’s probably because the California congressman is burnt out.
“You’re judging, politically, a very human decision. And I haven’t talked to George but this,” Frank said. “A month after I had retired I realized that I was no longer flinching when the phone rang and I no longer worried about what go**amned problem that some a**hole caused that I gotta’ deal with now.”
Frank added: “He’s a passionate advocate for all the causes you believe in and the more deeply you believe in things, the harder the job is emotionally,” Frank said. “You take the losses personally — the frustrations of not being able to get things done. And human nature being what it is you tend to — you win something okay but it’s the losses, the inability to do things that keep you up at night.”
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