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Barney Frank: Thank You For Not Asking

Few members of Congress are as outwardly pugnacious, confrontational, witty, acid-tongued and downright quotable -- and happy to admit all of the above -- as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Frank is now the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, giving him plenty of power and, presumably, few reasons to be bitter. When Capitol Briefing accidentally bumped into Frank on the first day of the 110th Congress in the ornate Speaker's Lobby off the House floor, he politely accepted an apology and declared that almost nothing could make the new chairman unhappy. A stunned Democratic staffer who, having seen Frank's unpleasantries up close for years, saw the exchange and wondered if Frank had turned over a new leaf in his demeanor.

Maybe he did, but that ended recently when Frank hit the gym and ruptured a tendon in his left arm. Today, he walked off the floor and into the Speaker's Lobby sporting a cast covering almost his entire left arm, wrapped in a blue sling.

Frankly, he's tired of telling people about what happened -- so tired that he instructed his staff to send out a dear-colleague e-mail to every Democratic chief of staff explaining what happened.

Please, don't ask any questions, follow-up questions or anything else. Chairman Frank won't answer. Read below.

From: Freitas, Bruno
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 2:36 PM
Subject: Message For Your Boss From Congressman Frank

May 15, 2007

Dear Colleague:

I appreciate the concern expressed by many about why my arm is in a sling. In order to avoid having to repeat the same conversation, I am sending out this Dear Colleague.

I ruptured a tendon in my left arm using a curling machine in a gym, and I had it surgically repaired yesterday at Bethesda Naval Hospital. I'll be using the sling for a week or two, but I feel fine.

Thanks for not asking.


By Paul Kane  |  May 15, 2007; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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