Representative Barney Frank has decided to quit once his term comes to an end, a decision that has shocked the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which is slowly losing its previous glamour. In fact, some of the well-known politicians in the state are the Republicans Mitt Romney and Senator Scott Brown.
Jeffery Berry, professor of political science at Tufts University, said: “For a long time, Massachusetts Democrats have felt they played a special role in the national Democratic Party. I think that has gone at this point. There is no one in Congress from Massachusetts who has that stature now.”
Barney Frank’s announcement to quit follows on the heels of another announcement made by John Olver, a House Appropriations Panel member and representative of Massachusetts, that he will not seek re-election. These negative developments, added to Senator Edward Kennedy’s death in 2009 and the fact that Massachusetts lost a house seat, has left Democrats wondering if they have well and truly lost their past glory.
John Kerry, the senior senator of the state, is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and functions as a global troubleshooter for the Obama government. However, if Obama gets re-elected, the chances of Kerry being appointed as the secretary of state are high, which means that Massachusetts will lose a powerful Senate presence.
The decline of the Democrats in Massachusetts is because of certain demographic changes. Unlike Southwestern and Southern states, Massachusetts has witnessed a decline in its population, owing to which it lost one of its 10 Congress seats. According to a senior politician, Barney Frank decided to quit because he did not like the idea of “running in a newly redrawn district with 325,000 new constituents, combined with the Democrats’ loss of control of the House.”
Speaking on his decision, Frank said: “One of the advantages to me of not running for office is that I don’t even have to pretend to be nice to people I don’t like.”
The politicians of Massachusetts once held the post of the House Speaker for nearly two decades. While John McCormack was the speaker from 1962 – 71, Thomas P. was in the post from 1977 – 87. During those years, John F. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, became the president while Edward started his 50-year-old career in the Senate.
Although it has lost a consideration chunk of its population, Massachusetts continued dreaming big, with Kerry and Dukakis getting nominated for president, but losing the general elections.