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Barney Frank interested in becoming senator

Aides to the newly retired Rep. Barney Frank say the congressman definitely wants to be appointed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as a caretaker senator. The opening would occur when John Kerry moves to the State Department pending his confirmation as the next secretary.

Frank, who is 72, has said he looked forward to life after Congress and "not having to answer the phone." But just one day after his 16 years in Congress ended, Frank has changed his mind citing the Senate's expected focus on fiscal issues, where Frank could use his expertise as the former top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. A caretaker appointment would be short-term, just for a few months until the special election is set.

Fmr. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., proves there's no rest for the recently retired. When asked by Joe Scarborough if he would consider being future Sen. Barney Frank, Frank responded by saying he's spoken with the Mass. Governor Deval Patrick about being appointed temporarily.

Frank told "Morning Joe," "A few weeks ago said, I said I wasn't interested. It was kind of like, you're about to graduate and they said, you've got to go to summer school. But that [fiscal cliff] deal now means that February, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial history."

When Sen. Kennedy died in 2009, the governor chose long time Kennedy aide and former Democratic National Committee chair Paul Kirk to serve in the interim before Scott Brown won the seat. Aides say they cannot comment this morning on whether Frank has heard back from Gov. Patrick.