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Frank, Kerry Lash Into Romney In Convention Speeches

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For one it marks the near-end of a long congressional career; for the other, it may be a new beginning. Retiring Rep. Barney Frank addressed delegates at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night. So did Sen. John Kerry, with rumors swirling here that he could be tapped to be secretary of state in a second Obama term.

At the convention this week, the Massachusetts delegation was featured prominently. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy was remembered. Gov. Deval Patrick was the attack dog. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren was the soft-spoken professor. Kerry was the elder statesman. And Frank was the myth-buster. On Thursday night, Frank called Mitt Romney “Myth Romney” for all the things he promised that never materialized.

“So if in fact Mitt Romney’s private-sector experience makes him the super hero of job creation, we would have seen that in Massachusetts,” Frank said. “In fact, the record is that during his term, our job growth was only about 1.4 percent, which was a quarter of the national average.”

Frank was greeted with a standing ovation, a farewell for a man who’s retiring from Congress after 32 years.

Then, Kerry brought the convention hall to its feet with his vigorous defense of President Obama’s global leadership.

“Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off now than he was four years ago,” Kerry said.

Kerry, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Romney/Ryan ticket is the most inexperienced foreign policy team in decades. And he jabbed at Romney for missteps overseas.

“For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas,” Kerry said. “It wasn’t a goodwill mission, it was a blooper reel.”

Kerry said that, as a Vietnam veteran, he was particularly bothered by one thing that was missing from Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

“No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas,” he said. “Mitt Romney was talking about America. They’re on the front-lines every day defending America and they deserve our thanks.”

The crowd roared its support as the night built to the main event, President Obama.

And the Massachusetts delegation loved what the president had to say.

“Blown away,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh. “The president really laid out the case and he laid out the challenge to us to bring this message and have those conversations with people and explain the differences.”

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley was one of the two delegates who cast the state’s votes for Obama. Her takeaway from the convention is that Obama needs allies, so it’s more important than ever to get Warren elected to the U.S. Senate.

“I think that in some ways it’s very sobering because it reminds us of how much work there is to be done,” Pressley said. “In many ways it renews and affirms us as a Democratic Party; there’s a real sense of camaraderie and community.”

Delegate Karen O’Donnell agrees. She says Massachusetts Democrats have two important tasks ahead — electing Warren and helping Obama win in New England.

“New Hampshire and Massachusetts, both are important races for Obama, so we are going to be working to bring a strong victory in all our New England states,” O’Donnell said.

New Hampshire is a battleground state this election year. And to underscore this, both President Obama and his Republican rival, Romney, will visit the Granite State Friday.

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