EDMONDS — Brian Baird is talking, in paragraphs, about marine snails the size of lentils that are in danger of dying out from the increasing acidity of oceans.
He’s speaking with authority about how the loss of those pteropods would disrupt the food chain, and, for a moment, it’s as if he’s addressing his former colleagues in Congress, imploring them to act before it’s too late.
But Baird, 55, is not standing at the podium on the floor of the House of Representatives where the Democrat served 12 years as a Washington congressman. He’s seated at a small round metal table at the marina in the city of Edmonds where he moved six months ago with his wife, Rachel Nugent, and 6-year-old twin sons to begin a new phase of life as a stay-at-home father.
“It was absolutely for the benefit of the kids,” he said of the decision to leave office. “People say that and it always elicits skepticism: What’s the real reason? Was there a crisis? Was he afraid of not getting re-elected? I didn’t have any fear about that. That had nothing to do with it.”
Still, when an ex-congressman moves to town, it gets people talking.
And when said congressman also has a bundle of money in his campaign kitty — $451,000 as of March 31 — and chooses to live where a congressional seat may soon be available, well, those conversations quickly become fodder for rumors nationwide.