In fact, she can be downright mean spirited without much provocation. And often Frankel gets a pass with people rolling their eyes and saying, "oh that's just Lois."
Yesterday, Frankel announced that she is going to run against Republican Florida Congressman Allen West in 2012. And she is expected - at least at first - to get serious backing from Florida and national Democrats who would dearly like to take back the District 22 seat.
Frankel began her political career in 1986 as a state legislator where she was known in the House as a fiesty, often brittle, liberal Democrat.
In 1992, a redistricting year, Frankel decided to run for Congress in a seat that had been carved out as a minority-leaning seat. Much of the black community - eager for their first opportunity to elect an African American congressman from South Florida, bristled at Frankel's entry into the race.
They wondered why she didn't run in another district.
Making matters worse, Frankel started throwing punches at her Democratic primary opponent, Alcee Hastings, a beloved figure in the black community.
Hastings, in carefully orchestrated outburst, retaliated - in front of this reporter at time - by calling Frankel, "a racist bitch."
Frankel is not a racist.
When she lost the congressional primary, she tried to manuever her way back to the state Legislature. Her legislative aide, Mimi McAndrews, had won the nomination for Frankel's House seat. After Frankel lost to Hastings, she suggested to McAndrews that she drop out of the race so that Frankel could replace her as the party nominee.
Two years later, Frankel ran against her friend and former legislative aide. It was another ugly race. Frankel mailed out fliers picturing a mangled car with a description of McAndrews's 1987 arrest for DUI outside a Boca Raton club.
McAndrews got equally nasty. So much for friendship. Frankel won.
In 2002, Frankel, confronting term-limits, decided to run for governor. She faced former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and a little known Tampa attorney - Bill McBride - in the Democratic primary.
After months of campaigning, it became clear that Frankel was going nowhere. She dropped out and later, quietly told this reporter that she planned to run for mayor of West Palm Beach.
During her eight years as mayor, Frankel has been powerful force. She has pushed, prodded, bullied, and cajoled - doing whatever it takes to meet her ambition and goals.
Frankel has been controversial and fearless.
When the police union fought her, she pushed back harder. When she wanted to build a new city hall, she bullied it into existence. She has been a surprisingly strong supporter of the business community and they have returned the affection.
Frankel hates the media and loves publicity.
And she clearly loathes the idea of being out of politics.
Frankel must believe running against Allen West is her best option for staying in office. At 63, it would be the capstone of her career.
First, however, Frankel is going to have to demonstrate that she can raise the millions it will take to win.
And Frankel is going to have to show that her support extends beyond West Palm Beach.
West will be a more than formidable foe. And Republicans will do all they can to help West keep the District 22 seat.
If Frankel stays in - and just like she did in 2002 she will drop out if she doesn't believe she can win - this is going to be one helluva race to watch.
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Art by Brian J. Crowley, Chicago artist, illustrator and author of Hamster Rage