Meet the lawmaker

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Time in Congress:
25 years 
Marital status: Single 
Residence: Dupont Circle, D.C., and Newton, Mass.

What is something that shocked you about how Congress operates?
Frank: Now? The ability of the Republicans in the House to suppress it so they can create a structure that can pass things by keeping amendments off the floor, to take the country further right than they want to go and get away with it.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Frank: “A lawyer or in politics. Figured I’d be involved in politics as a staff person until in my early 30s.”

Is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?
Frank: “I don’t care. I think it’s the most overly-hyped issue. They should be used interchangeably.”

What is something you’ve wanted to do for a long time but you haven’t had the time to do?
Frank: “Write more. I don’t write fluidly. When I retire I want to write about serious things in politics.”

If you weren’t yourself, which lawmaker would you prefer to be?
Frank: “There’s no point. I work with 534 of them; why do I want to annoy them? Ted Kennedy in the Senate. Beyond him, Thaddeus Stevens [19th century lawmaker].”

Proudest moment?
Frank: “I can’t tell you that because it sounds egotistical. The day I got here. Came down for a lame-duck session in 1980. I said to the doorkeeper I’d like to see Mo [Morris Udall]. [When I finally met Udall by bumping into him in a stairwell] it was very emotional for me.”

What is your favorite political TV show?
Frank: “I like the ‘West Wing’ sometimes. I mostly dislike political TV.”

What is your New Year’s Resolution for next year?
Frank: “Don’t have any.”