We noted the bizarre intercession of Barney Frank’s boyfriend (James Ready) in Republican challenger Sean Beilat‘s post-debate press event here (video included). Now Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory follows up on the story in “Dude, show some respect.” McGrory goes to Frank for his response:
When I called Frank yesterday to ask if he condones his partner goading and mocking an opponent, he told me that “Jimmy” is a talented amateur photographer putting together a photo essay of the campaign.
When I asked if Frank planned to apologize for Ready’s behavior, Frank said: “Jim should have broken it off and not responded. But Bielat shouldn’t have initiated the conversation. I don’t see what was inappropriate about taking his picture.”
I’ll mark that down as a no.
A few moments later, my phone rang again. It was Frank, adding, “Jim’s new to political campaigning. He takes it more personally than someone who’s used to it.”
After we hung up, Frank called again, saying, “You know, he calls me dude. I didn’t realize that was troubling people. He calls all sorts of people dude.”
So what’s happening here? McGrory takes a respectable stab at it: “For the last three decades, the political establishments in Boston and Washington have excused Frank’s consistently obnoxious behavior as Barney being Barney….But now voters are looking to D.C. and wondering what has gone wrong in a city and a system that is having such a hard time getting things right.”
McGrory also gives Bielat his due: “Bielat, an even-keeled Democrat-turned Republican with a Harvard degree, made Ready look foolish this week.” Kudos to McGrory for following up and getting it right.