Once upon a time, Barney Frank wanted to be a U.S. Senator. Actually, that was just five years ago. But now that the opportunity is here — Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death leaves an open seat in Frank’s home state — does he want to head down that path again?

Nope. Frank wants to stay in the House. And why wouldn’t he? He’s a powerful man there. He’s chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which, you might have heard, is kind of an influential place to be these days.

So why give all that up to become a junior senator from Massachusetts? Where he’ll have to spend the next two terms sucking up to everyone else, hoping for a senior post?

That, and Kennedy’s seat could very well go to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley — and not that bigot — who’s on the rampage against DOMA with a federal lawsuit. (Though Frank, who says he’s decided who he’s supporting, isn’t saying.)

But the bigger question is: If Frank wanted it, would he even get it this time?

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