Bielat vs. Bailout Barney - can Bubba save Barney Frank?

The MA 4th congressional district race has been catching fire over the past week. As national blogger and media interest continues to grow, Sean Bielat released the details of an internal poll last week showing that he is legitimately within 10 points of Barney Frank with plenty of upside ahead of him. Frank’s campaign responded first by insulting Sarah Palin (“those numbers are as dumb as Sarah Palin” – go figure) and then by claiming that they will win by 20 points “no matter what we do”.

But instead of releasing their own polling details, the Frank campaign belied their own arrogance by bringing in Bill Clinton to stump for Barney yesterday. The CSM ran with the headline “Can Clinton save Barney Frank?”

At the same time Sean Bielat held a counter rally at the green in Taunton, which attracted an energetic crowd of around 350 supporters.

WBUR summary of the situation

In a roundabout way, Bill Clinton acknowledged that Barney Frank has a tougher race this year than he’s had in a long time. Clinton told the crowd in the Taunton High School gym Sunday that if Republicans succeed in making the election about how Americans feel about the economy, Democrats are in trouble.

But Clinton was there, and voters in the 4th Congressional District are asking about Sean Bielat, the fair-skinned, trim 35-year-old running against Barney Frank. Bielat is a Marine Reservist who says his priorities are in line with the Tea Party principles of smaller government…

“First is the economic recovery, and I think we do that by setting a stable regulatory environment so that businesses can make longer-term investment decisions because they know what regulation is coming, what they need to prepare for, and second is immediate tax relief in the form of lower withholding from paychecks,” Bielat said.

Next, Bielat, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, wants to reform Social Security and Medicare.

“If we don’t, this country is going to look like Greece in a generation. We’re going to be broke,” he said.

Bielat is part of a rebel movement of young Republicans who want to throw out not just the Democrats, but also their own party leadership. He says the Congressional Republican he thinks is doing the best job is Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin. Like Ryan, Bielat believes the party lost its way by spending big in the Bush years.

Finally, check out this stunning comment made by Barney Frank right after the Bill Clinton event:

“I didn’t just get Bill Clinton to come to Taunton,” Frank said. “I got Sean Bielat to come to Taunton. I noticed he’d said he’d been thinking about having an event here and finally decided to do it. Frankly, I think it’s the first public event he had in Taunton. Maybe it was a two-for for Taunton.”

Barney is all arrogance all the time, but between the lines you can see his fear.