Barney Frank, we hardly knew ye

We’re going to miss Barney Frank, who announced today that he won’t be seeking re-election. It’s not the congressman’s politics we’re partial to; it’s his penchant for calling us out of the blue. Unlike a lot of other elected officials who let their PR lackeys respond to press inquiries, Frank usually picked up the phone himself. And good luck getting a word in edgewise when Barney was on the blower. Last year after the congressman and his partner, James Ready, were assailed on an airplane by a pair of ophthalmologists upset about President Obama’s health-care bill, Frank phoned us directly to explain his side of the story. “It reminds me of the joke about the woman who’s in a restaurant and Clark Gable’s there,’’ Barney told us, chortling. “She complains to the waiter, `Clark Gable is annoying me.’ The waiter says, `He’s not even talking to you,’ and she says, `Yes, and I find that very annoying.’’’

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