Rep. Brian Baird is switching his vote from opposing health care last fall to voting “yes” today, his office announced. Baird, retiring this year, was a prime target for Democrats to switch. (See everyone in play here.)
Baird (D-WA) said in a statement he’s changed his mind because “the status quo cannot be sustained.” I did a piece earlier this week detailing the stunning number of phone calls that have been flooding switchboards on Capitol Hill and in district offices across the country. Baird’s office told me yesterday that on Friday, Baird’s district office received 3,018 calls. They’d stopped keeping track in the D.C. office because “the phones were constantly ringing,” spokesman Adam Hudson said.
Of the calls coming from voters within the district, 57 percent were for the bill and 43 percent were against. The out of district calls – 52 percent of the total – had 87 percent against health care and 13 percent for the bill.In his statement today, Baird thanked the callers:
Finally, I want to express my personal appreciation to those who have written, called, visited our office and attended town halls and other events to express their opinions on all sides of this issue. The fact that so many have taken the time to do so is itself a testimony to both the importance of this issue and the vibrancy of our republic. I am grateful for the input and have weighed it carefully and thoughtfully as I considered this important, complex and difficult matter.