brianbaird.jpg
Rep. Brian Baird: Probably not the most popular caucus member these days.
First, Rep. Brian Baird pissed off his party by being one of the

"/>

Rep. Brian Baird Retiring, Making It Harder for Democrats to Keep 2010 Majority

brianbaird.jpg
Rep. Brian Baird: Probably not the most popular caucus member these days.
First, Rep. Brian Baird pissed off his party by being one of the few House Democrats to vote against health care reform. Now, after announcing his retirement yesterday, he may be making it even harder for them to keep a majority.

Baird has led the 3rd Congressional District since 1996. He says "the time has come to pursue other options, other ways of serving." All well and good for Baird, but man does this put his fellow Dems in a tough spot.

Earlier in the week, two other House Democrats announced their retirements. Leading Charlie Cook at the National Journal to make an ominous prediction.

Republicans hope the back-to-back retirement announcements of Reps. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., and John Tanner, D-Tenn., will set off an avalanche that could make a takeover of the House more likely. While two does not a trend make, if this does mark the beginning of one, GOP hopes and Democratic fears could turn out to be true.
Baird makes three. And a trend. But Chris Cilizza at The Fix says Baird's departure is even more meaningful than that:
More broadly, Baird's retirement will increase chatter within Democratic circles that potentially vulnerable members are jumping ship rather than running the risk of losing their seats in what is shaping up to be a tough 2010 election.

Top Democratic strategists have insisted that the retirements of Tanner and Moore were entirely isolated cases but they may struggle to make that case with Baird's retirement added to the mix.

Before they got a chance to make that case, however, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions grabbed the mic. In an e-mail blast shortly after Baird's announcement, Sessions said Baird had "jumped ship" because he was "scared":
With this being the third retirement by a swing-district Democrat in as many weeks, it is clear that members of the Majority are feeling the ground shaking beneath them. As the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and Democrats continue on with their out-of-touch agenda, independent voters are rightfully fleeing the Democratic Party. Now, facing an angry and frustrated electorate, Democrats are quickly realizing that it's time to throw in the towel.
State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz naturally disagrees, telling PubliCola that Baird would "have been easily reelected." Which may be true, given that he usually carried more than 60% of his district. But George W. won the 3rd in both 2000 and 2004, and Politico calls Baird's Olympia-area district "one of the most competitive in the country."

Translation: Expect an influx of Republican candidates and Republican cash in 2010.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow