Type RetireBarney.com into your Web browser, and you'll be redirected to the campaign web site of a 35-year-old Marine reservist from Brookline, Sean Bielat.
"Barney," of course, refers to Barney Frank, the 30-year liberal veteran of the U.S. Congress, and Bielat's opponent. As his web site can attest, Bielat is trying to capitalize on anti-incumbent fervor in this year's heated midterm elections.
In a district that has elected Frank 15 times, Bielat faces quite a challenge. But Frank is probably not as comfortable as he'd like to be. In this year's special Senate election, the majority of Frank's district — 57 percent — voted for Scott Brown. And Bielat, according to a poll commissioned by his own campaign, says he's trailing Frank by only 10 points.
On the other hand, the election blog FiveThirtyEight forecasts Frank way out ahead with 61 percent of the projected vote to Bielat's 37 percent. And just to muddy the water even further, the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan research group, recently shifted the Frank-Bielat contest from its "Solid Democratic" column to its "Likely Democratic" column.
Barney Frank is a polarizing national figure, and the race has received some national attention. In the closing weeks of this election season, Sean Bielat's mission will be to make that attention work for him.
- Sean Bielat, Republican candidate for Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District