Rep. Barney Frank began his retirement press conference by saying, "I'm just going to explain my reasons, which are a little complicated." Fifty minutes later, it was clear that a mix of personal and professional reasons factored into the powerful House Democrat's decision to bow out. Here's a condensed version of Frank's reasoning:
In the "Today" interview, Frank became testy when he was asked whether his decision not to run next year was a signal that he think Democrats will not win back control of the House. "Did you think I would serve until I was 106?" he asked. Separately, he said that if he had run for reelection next year, it would have been his last campaign. "I had decided many years ago, I will not be here when I'm 75." Frank admitted he was "initially chagrined" to see the market increase so significantly the day that he announced his retirement. "I then checked with Louise Slaughter, who has been the leader in this effort to prevent insider trading by members of Congress, to see if before the law went through, I could short the market and then announce I was running again," he joked. "But the market has since gone up even more without regard to me, so I don't take it personally."
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