I wouldn't want to be the secretary of Treasury a year or two from now who calls up a big financial institution and says 'Look, we've got this problem, can you take over such and such.' You've just lost all ability to do that. It's counter-productive, plus it's just unfair.
I felt that when some of the liberals where criticizing Bank of America over Merrill Lynch. You know, they did that as a favor to the federal government.
You want to go after John Thain, go after John Thain.
I just thought it was wrong.
What will you miss most in leaving Congress?
Being able to affect public policy. That's the only thing I will miss.
Some of the personal friendships. People underestimate what a high quality of people — not just serve in Congress, but the greatest bargain the American people get are Congressional staff. They are just an extraordinarily talented group of people on all sides. I'm very proud of the relationships I have with a lot of staff, including Republican staffers. They have been very, very good.
But mostly I'll miss the ability to change public policy.
What are your future plans?
I have two books in mind. One, what I think the program ought to be for people who agree with my values. How liberals can do a better job of winning elections and public policy.
Then a history of the gay rights movement. My political career and the gay rights movement are co-terminus. I was elected in '72 and that's when it started.
I will give speeches for money. I will make a lot of money doing that I think.
Some TV commentary, but not on a regular basis.
I will take on no responsibilities. I plan to run my mouth for money, both orally and in writing.
And then I would like to have a base at a university and do some teaching. Part of that is I need that to organize my thoughts and I want to be around other smart people.