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Barney Frank: House Members Are Smart, Except For Class Of 2010

Barney Frank: That's because you ask very specialized questions. You have a special beat in business and about which I know something. But I get the general press asking, "do you want to comment on this and comment on that?" when I haven't read about it and don't know about it. And what I have found is that, on the whole, the members of Congress are smarter than average.

Now, here's the deal. It's not been the case with people elected in 2010 and this is important. Ordinarily, to get elected to Congress, it takes a certain amount of energy and creativity. When you get one of those elections where one party wins overwhelmingly, it tends to sweep in some flotsam and jetsam. And that's been true of the Democrats and the Republicans.

Normally, though, I think very highly of the intelligence of my colleagues. I will say this: when I was in the state legislature in the '70s, I would sometimes have to stop to say, all right, I've got to explain it. Let me think about how I explain it, how do I break it down. I have never felt the need to do that in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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