Gov. Deval Patrick has a message for all those seeking an interim appointment for U.S. Senate, including retired Congressman Barney Frank: relax.

Asked Friday whether he agreed that it would be “petty” of him not to appoint the longtime Newton Democrat because of the "public pressure" for a Frank selection, Patrick erupted in laughter.

“Guess what?" Patrick asked "I’m going to choose someone and all the other people on my list are going to be mad that they didn’t get chosen. I’m ready for that, so just relax. We will get to this when we get to it.” 

National Journal reported that Frank told a reporter that he didn’t think his prospects of being picked by Patrick would be damaged by his public lobbying for the job. 

“I don’t think it’s going to hurt me,” Frank said. “Why would it hurt me? The governor would have to be pretty petty.” 

If Sen. John Kerry is sworn in as secretary of state, Patrick said he would be “ready” to appoint and interim senator who would serve for a few months until a special election, which Patrick has described as the “main event.” 

Patrick also said the roster of qualified candidates he has to pick from is a good thing.  The only candidate who has been publicly identified is Frank, who spoke last week about a conversation that Patrick had intended to keep confidential.

“It’s a blessing to have so many really good people who could serve,” Patrick said.

Patrick said he would not allow pettiness to influence his decision, but said “I wouldn’t be surprised if people think that.” Asked if he thought Frank was capable of relaxing, Patrick burst into even more uproarious laughter.