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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Will Barney Frank Be The First Openly Gay Cabinet Member?

President Barack Obama, the first African-American President, has the opportunity to appoint the first openly gay Cabinet member. Congressman Barney Frank -- regarded by some as the smartest man in Congress -- has often been mentioned as a possible replacement for Senator Ted Kennedy. He nixed that idea. From TheHill:

"Rep. Barney Frank is interested in capping his political career as a member of the president’s Cabinet, according to a new biography of the Financial Services Committee chairman.

"Frank (D-Mass.) told author Stuart Weisberg that he would like to be Housing and Urban Development secretary. However, the 69-year-old lawmaker stresses that his departure from Congress is not imminent.

"He first wants to pass more legislation on affordable housing, saying, 'I want at least two years with President Obama and a solidly Democratic Senate so that we can get the federal government back in the housing business.'

"No president has ever appointed an openly gay man or woman to the Cabinet.

Strange, though, that Frank -- the supremely powerful House Financial Services Committee Chairman -- would want a lesser cabinet position like HUD. HUD, which sounds not unlike a cult 80s horror movie, is traditionally where up-and-coming urban pols who are allies the a sitting President cut their teeth and raise their national profile (Or, in the case of Poppy, 41, a zone to cleverly neutralize a potential political rival). Perhaps it is Congressman Frank's strategy. No one could argue that he is not qualified. And while it would be, technically, a demotion in Power, it would be a step up for gays everywhere.

We hope President Obama makes that happen.

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