"I do not intend to be ambushed by the kind of right-wing smears that assailed John Kerry in 2004," proclaimed Barney Frank as he donated another $200,000 to his own reelection campaign. The fifteen-term congressman, who hasn't faced a viable competitor in decades, is now in a political firefight against youthful Iraq War veteran Sean Bielat. The GOP challenger (minted with a Palin endorsement) has ridden a groundswell of enthusiasm from Tea Party groups, who are planning a numerous ads in the final weeks of the campaign in hopes that he can pull off a "Scott Brown-like" upset against a recognizable Democrat. The latest Bielat ad, which depicts a disco-dancing Barney Frank (video below), has already become a viral sensation despite a Frank campaign that wasn't amused. But the Republican's marketing prowess hasn't yet translated into tangible support: the Democrat still holds a steady lead in the polls two weeks from election day.
- Voters Are Starting to Turn Against Frank's 'Consistently Obnoxious Behavior' concludes Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory, who explains that voters used to give Frank a pass because "he unapologetically and effectively carried the flag for the most liberal of causes." That time may be ending, Bielat has already made Frank look "foolish" and may do so on election day. "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. The same character flaws that were forgiven in good times might wear thin when times are tough," McGrory figures.
- Tea Partiers Are Reveling in 'Panic-Stricken' Frank The Boston Herald's Dave Wedge chronicles the reaction of area Tea Partiers who are "gleefully" reveling in the fact that Frank had to donate an extra funds to his campaign to stave off Bielat and flood of ads before election day. "Frank — outraised by $70,000 by opponent Sean Bielat in September — pumped $200,000 from his personal retirement account into his campaign to thwart what he calls right-wing attacks from 'bigoted' Tea Partiers." Planned attack ads from the national Tea Party Express are expected to bolster Bielat's bid.
- The 'Fannie and Freddie' News May Be Hard to Overcome Ed Carson at Investor's Business Daily notes that taxpayers are having to shoulder a bigger load to keep the mortgage finance giants alive, and that can only be "bad news" for the incumbent: "Frank bet big, and taxpayers are still paying. Perhaps it’s time voters asked the 15-term congressman to get out of his seat and leave the table."
- Bielat Is Pressuring Frank in Money Race reports The Hotline's Jeremy P. Jacobs. "House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) challenger, raised a stunning $653,000 in the first two weeks of October. Wow. Frank hauled in an also impressive $250,000 during that time period. Frank has $649,000 in the bank, while Bielat has $462,000."
- The Race Still Isn't Close Enough For Bielat to Win, observes Allahpundit at Hot Air who details the "killer demographic" for the challenger: "As usual, it’s the gender gap. Bielat’s actually beating Frank among men, 45.2/42.6; among women he trails … 54.7 to 30.2. Unless he can put a giant dent in that in the next 12 days, I don’t know how he gets to 51 percent."
- The Tea Party Wave Is Real The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan predicts a grim political future for Frank in her column about how the Tea Party "saved" Republicans nationwide. "Mr. Frank is in the race of his life, and this week on TV he did not portray the finger-drumming smugness and impatience with your foolishness he usually displays on talk shows. He looked pale and mildly concussed, like someone who just found out that liberals die, too."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.