During her weekly press conference today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) treated reporters to one of her favorite Barney Frank moments.
“It may not be [about] historic public policy in nature, but I think it’s one you might appreciate,” she began her story about the Democratic Massachusetts Representative. At the time, Pelosi was relatively new and went to speak about the State and foreign operations appropriations bill on the floor.
“I come to the floor. I have on a suit I hadn’t worn [before]. And, [let me] remind you, [ex-Rep.] David Obey [D-Wis.] had been the chairman of that [sub]committee for, like, 13 years. He knew every semicolon, dot, everything in the bill. … It’s his baby, he thinks of it as his baby.
“So I go to the floor, and the first person I went to is Barney Frank,” she continued. “Barney Frank, [and] he says: ‘That suit, give it away.’”
“I go and I accomplish what I was set out to do. I was so proud,” Pelosi remembered. “David was sitting there the way David sits there, and David says to me, ‘You did what you came to do. You got the job done. But you could have been more diplomatic.’”
Which was a burn.
“So I said, ‘This is really my day. I’m getting fashion advice from Barney Frank and diplomacy advice from David Obey.’
“Can you imagine?”
Frank, of course, is more famous for his gruff manner and stinging wit and less for his ability to pull together a look.
“I love Barney, I’m really going to miss him,” Pelosi said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.