This excerpt from Charles Pierce’s report on Barney Frank’s retirement announcement today is a reminder of how funny he could be and how much he and his acerbic wit will be missed (emphasis added by me):

His announcement at the city hall here was of a piece with his whole career. Asked if he was planning to be a lobbyist, Frank replied, “I will not become a lobbyist, nor will I become a historian.” He has taken Newt Gingrich on as a particular adversary ever since the latter became famous as a bomb-throwing back-bencher and, later, as the leader who knocked Frank into the congressional minority in 1994. Frank’s mastery of the acerbic is almost a perfect foil to Gingrich’s blowfish quasi-intellectualism. Asked to discuss the 2012 GOP presidential primary season, Frank mused, “I did not think I had led a good enough life to be rewarded with Newt Gingrich as the Republican nominee for president…. For example, I would look forward to debating Mr. Gingrich on the Defense of Marriage Act. I think he would be the perfect opponent to debate on that.” When somebody asked him to assess the state of the Republican congressional majority with whom, he said, it has become impossible to work, Frank explained that “half of them think like Michelle Bachmann and the other half are afraid of being primaried by someone who thinks like Michele Bachmann.”