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Sean Bielat, sore loser

By Charles Lane

You gotta hand it to 35-year-old Republican newcomer Sean Bielat: He made Democratic Congressman Barney Frank work for re-election for the first time in about three decades. Bielat ran a spirited and substantive campaign, forcing Frank to answer hard questions about his support for failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to defend his legislation that benefited a failed bank, OneUnited.

But the true test of a politician is how he behaves in defeat. And in that respect Bielat did himself very little credit when, as expected, Frank won by about 11 points Tuesday night. Instead of congratulating the winner, wishing him well and pledging to pull the district together -- standard etiquette for defeated candidates -- Bielat emerged before a crowd of well-wishers strutting across a raised platform and boasting of his "success" in coming so close. He failed even to mention the winner by name, much less congratulate him. It was an amateurish and tacky display. To some Republicans, Bielat promised to be the next Scott Brown. But Brown and the other powers that be in Massachusetts' resurgent Republican Party might want to review this video and give the rookie some lessons in campaign decorum before sending him out on his next political mission:

Frank's victory speech was rather ungracious, too: self-absorbed, rambling, filled with gibes at Bielat and self-pitying complaints about the Boston Herald's pro-Bielat coverage. But, given Bielat's performance, I'd say Barney was provoked:

UPDATE, Thursday morning: Bielat has responded in the comments section, offering an apology and suggesting that he just forgot to mention Frank.

By Charles Lane  | November 3, 2010; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Next: Money can't buy happiness -- or elective office


Really the only appology should come from the blind voters who voted for Barney. Its ridulous that liars and corrupt politicians still have a home and are accepted in some areas of the U.S.

Posted by: justamaz | November 3, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse


You're right that I should have offered congratulations but it truly was an oversight made in the moment rather than a conscious omission. I didn't prepare remarks last night and if in the future I'm in a similar position, I probably will.

I'm very proud of the job that our volunteers and staff did in presenting our case to the voters. They helped to create a competitive race in MA-04 for the first time in decades.

However, after hearing our case, the voters still made a decision to send Mr. Frank back to Washington a 16th time and that deserves congratulations. I apologize to Mr. Frank and his supporters for failing to explicitly communicate that.


Posted by: SeanBielat | November 3, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Bielat,
Your above comments/explanation were unnecessary. Mr. Lane has to be the only "sore winner" who could not see that you were clearly consoling your supporters. Good luck to you in your future endeavors. I know you will do well.
Tyla, RN - Illinois

Posted by: tylahager | November 3, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Bielat,
You are far more gracious than is required when one takes into account the fact that Barney Frank is one of the most destructive forces in America today. Additionally, Frank's dishonesty and arrogance make him despicable on a personal level. Thanks for trying.

Posted by: tulsa_dave | November 3, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank's victory speech is actually very interesting, if you've any interest in political history.

Who knew that the gerrymandered district that Sean Bielat gripes about in his ungracious "concession" speech was put together in 1961 by REPUBLICANS?

Certainly not Sean Bielat, who was born in 1975. And that, folks, is what's known as "wet behind the ears."

Posted by: HughBriss | November 3, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"Frank's victory speech was rather ungracious, too"
"Rather ungracious"??

Must be lib code for boorish, unstatesmanlike, pompous and childish. Poor Frank...FURIOUS he actually had to campaign.

If the true test of a man is how he behaves in defeat, then an even more accurate gauge (Certainly in this instance.) is how he behaves in victory. Your man couldn't manage to be gracious and conciliatory even after he won! Every syllable out of his mouth was INTENTIONALLY bitter, angry and resentful.
Yet you choose to go after Sean, who simply forgot. Probably in eagerness to make sure he didn't overlook his volunteers.

So here we have 2 men. One, extremely gracious and thoughtful. A class act all the way.
And another who behaves like a pompous ass.

Tell me Charles, how does it feels to be on the side of the ass?

Posted by: PortWine | November 3, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

You gotta hand it to Charles Lane, he is pretty lousy at drawing conclusions based on facts. Sean Bielat had at his disposal a virtual truckload of salacious truths about Barney Frank that he kept out of his campaign. Not one SNL skit turned up on YouTube attached to the Bielat campaign. In my opinion, you judge a candidate by the scope of his campaign, not by the final six minutes. And did it ever occur to you that perhaps Sean Bielat was listening to something his mother taught him: if you don't have something nice to say, then say nothing at all.
Sean, no apologies from you are necessary AT ALL.

Posted by: SeanRules | November 3, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

the apology owed is from the idiotic voters in MA, home of some of the most clueless liberal lemmings in the land, to the rest of the electorate. this fat, arrogant, divisive piece of tripe is most directly responsible for the meltdown in the mortgage/real estate markets. his idiotic tinkering on behalf of the "disenfranchised" is the root cause of the entrenched economic malaise. i wouldn't congratulate him either; to do so is rubber stamp the unbelievable damage he has done to the country. of course, from the WaPo, why would I expect anything of substance. Hiatt, Milbank, Dionne and co? These are the premier liberal hacks working today.

Posted by: subframer | November 3, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Some advice. Don't believe what you hear from Barney Frank.
His grasp of facts is dependent on what he needs them to be at any given time.

No where does it mention any kind of redistricting done in the 1960's but you'll note the redistricting done in 1981, when Frank was elected.

And THAT folks, is what's known as lieing.

Posted by: PortWine | November 3, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Has Mr. Bielat apologized to all gay men and lesbians for spewing ignorant bigotry in the local papers as well?

Posted by: uh_huhh | November 4, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Port Wine, I checked your wikipedia reference to the 4th Congressional District.

It says that the "district covers much of the area included in the 10th district before the 1982 gerrymandering."

And there is a link to a page about the 10th district.

And on that linked page is the history that Rep. Barney Frank mentioned.

I'm guessing that your real beef is with Barney Frank, and not with gerrymandering ... because it sure looks like the GOP is going to gerrymander like mad, now that they control more state capitals.

Whether you like it or not, the GOP won't be gerrymandering Massachusetts, where a Democrat was just re-elected as Governor.

And where Barney Frank was just re-elected to Congress.

And where Sean Bielat lost in his bid to unseat him.

The citizens of the Commonwealth have voted.

Time to move on.

Posted by: HughBriss | November 4, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

LOL, talk about defining "sore loser" down! Oh, gracious me. He spoke with pride, the nerve!

Posted by: shecallsmemoe | November 4, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

The Lane who wrote this must be a descendant of Margot Lane, the girlfriend of Lamont Cranston (aka The Shadow). Who knows what the Shadow knows? The Shadow does. As does this Lane. Of course, he doesn't know a boor when he sees one, and Barney Frank truly qualifies. Imagine how gracious Barney would have been had he lost! The man clearly does not know right from wrong. His behaviour screams for a federal criminal investigation, but we are unlikely to get one from the famously unscrupulous abettor to Bill Clinton's most notorious presidential pardon, Attorney General Eric Holder.

Posted by: sailhardy | November 4, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Charles Lane,

the beauty of embedded video is that you can mischaracterize someone's behavior to the point of slander all you want and your readers can come along and see the truth of it. It's not Sean Bielat's performance that's in question here. It's your eyesight and your judgment. Congratulations, though. You did get your "sore loser" slug on the paper's home page. And that's what it's all about, right?

Posted by: JGGiant | November 4, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Slobbering Barney would have been gracious in defeat... probably would have drowned the first row of the press corps in spittle.

Posted by: jpmenavich | November 4, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse


No mention by Mr. Frank of the 1981 district change. The most recent. The one that got him....elected.

Like I said, he doesn't have a firm grasp of the facts. At least, not when they don't serve his partisan interests. .

I suppose your list of Democrat elections was supposed to be a dig? Sorry, but I'm no right wing partisan. I vote both parties and am a proud independent who calls it like it is with Democrats and Republicans. Partisanship is for simple minds, in my view.

Yes, my beef is with Barney Frank and those who dismiss his crass, loutish behavior as "rather ungracious" when it certainly rises to a level much worse than that.

He behaved like the ugly, ungrateful, petty man he is and unfortunately, he'll always have his minions who'll dismiss his behavior as "rather ungracious".

Posted by: PortWine | November 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Barney is not happy because he lost his position of the house finace committee, where did all his damage. Barney now can sit in the corner with Pelosi.

Posted by: bkulls | November 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Look at all these whining, bleating, sniveling teatards. As your idols like to say, man up. What a bunch of pantywaists. Your guy lost this race. Move on.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

There couldn't be a better example of observer bias than the comments posted by Mr Lane.
This is also a perfect example of the roots of the Tea Party/ conservative resurgence.
With the internet, cable and, for many years, but for a small audience, C-Span serving to break the MSM monopoly, the interested observer can test the "reporter's" or commentator's observations against the raw feed.
The continuous drop in big, liberal newspaper circulation, and the continuous shrinkage of network news viewership, are testimony of the broader public's judgment of your veracity and objectivity.
Barney was far less gracious and personally insulting in his remarks than Sean in his.
Is it really so difficult to see?
Note also the tenor of the comments following Mr Lane's piece. Although Mr Frank has a long record of unsavory behavior, it is regarded as off limits and a low blow to make note of his personal indiscretions, but the clean as a whistle Bielat draws vicious personal comment from the left.
This is a pattern duplicated in comments, blogs and letters to the editor across the entire spectrum of political discourse.
Pluck the beam from your own eye, etc..

Posted by: mercedesmans2000 | November 4, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

As a democrat who lives in Sharon- in Barney Frank's district, I again voted for Barney. That being said it was apparent that Mr. Bielat is an intelligent candidate who ran a rather clean and fair fight and didn't resort to the dirty campaigning of most races this year. If the GOP in Mass. is smart they will ride this rising star. While I disagree with him politically it is clear that he is a classy and bright guy.

Posted by: klinical | November 4, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I am embarassed to say that I live in the 4th district and can't believe we would send this clown back for a 16th term. We have to get term limits.

MA,NY, and CA are not democracys in any way. Vote left or don't vote!!! Just a joke! Almost a big a joke as this so called journalism.

Posted by: kgilbert2 | November 4, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, your update was borderline slanderous to Sean Bielat. "Suggesting" suggests you think Bielat was lying when he said not congratulating Frank was simply an oversight.

Bielat had nothing to gain by apologizing here, other than to satisfy honor by acknowledging an error. Honor, however, is something I would guess you don't understand.

Posted by: phantommut | November 4, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

We need to know the health of Barney Frank ! Barney may looked “panic-stricken” but I wondered if he looked sick ? He really isn’t the poster person for modern day health for a senior citizen !

Why would a guy seventy years old at his age spend $200,000.00 to get reelected after thirty years !

There really is something wrong with this picture !

If Barney goes out the same way as Ted Kennedy what is the reelection process ? Will Sean Bielat get appointed how would this work if Barney doesn’t make the four years or goes into bad health ?

Posted by: fnhaggerty | November 4, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Look at all these whining, bleating, sniveling teatards. As your idols like to say, man up. What a bunch of pantywaists. Your guy lost this race. Move on.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 4, 2010 10:18 AM |


Remarkable. In a highly inaccurate "opinion piece" that in reality is a biased jab, written retorts are characterized as whining, bleating, and sniveling. Not only that, it is surmised that anyone daring to post such retorts is generalized as a "teatard", as if only such "mentally dull" people, ie retards would make such retorts . Talk about bleating and sniveling, let alone petty and vile. We have moved on you blithering idiot. Tis you and the genius "writer" who has not.

Posted by: murgo525 | November 4, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Look at all these whining, bleating, sniveling teatards. As your idols like to say, man up. What a bunch of pantywaists. Your guy lost this race. Move on.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 4, 2010 10:18 AM |


Remarkable. In a highly inaccurate "opinion piece" that in reality is a biased jab, written retorts are characterized as whining, bleating, and sniveling. Not only that, it is surmised that anyone daring to post such retorts is generalized as a "teatard", as if only such "mentally dull" people, ie retards would make such retorts . Talk about bleating and sniveling, let alone petty and vile. We have moved on you blithering idiot. Tis you and the genius "writer" that has not.

Posted by: murgo525 | November 4, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

So the mentally challenged voters of this congressional district voted Barney Fag back in. Makes you wonder about the intelligence of his district and Pelosi's.

Posted by: jjlj | November 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

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