With speculation brewing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may finally call it quits in Congress, the longtime Democrat failed to give a definitive answer about her future plans to seek reelection in 2022.
During a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Pelosi, who was first elected to the House in 1986, was asked if she is planning on running for her congressional seat, which encompasses most of San Francisco.
“Oh, you think I’m going to make an announcement right here and now?” the House speaker said in response.
When pressed again during the CNN interview, Pelosi stated: “Why would I tell you that now?” and added: “Probably, I would have that conversation with my family first, if you don’t mind.”
Previously, Pelosi said that she would not try to make a bid to become the speaker of the House after she was elected to her position again for the fourth time earlier this year.
As highlighted by The Guardian, Pelosi said at a press conference last month that her “leadership” for the reconciliation bill “was a culmination of my service in Congress because it was about the children.”
This prompted a reporter to inquiry about Pelosi’s use of the word “culmination.” “Get out of here,” Pelosi seemed to dismiss the speculation at the time.
“The exchange exemplified Pelosi’s other comments about her potential retirement: a hint, chased with a heavy dose of uncertainty,” The Guardian noted. “Despite her previous promises to fellow House Democrats, it remains unclear whether Pelosi will step down as speaker at the end of this term.”
Other statements from Pelosi’s past also indicate she could be close to calling it quits.
In 2018, she told House Democrats that she would only serve two terms as House speaker, reaffirming that commitment in November of last year.
However, during an interview with MSNBC in June, Pelosi attempted to downplay speculation that she would retire.
“People make their own decisions about timing” and “don’t have to comply with somebody else’s view,” she said, without elaborating.
In the past few years, some House Democrats have publicly called for Pelosi to, hand over the reins to a younger, fresher face such as the new socialist mouthpiece for the party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who told news outlets last year that new leadership is needed.
The whispers of a flood of House Democrats retiring may stretch far beyond just Nancy Pelosi. There have been fears among Democrats in the House that they won’t be able to keep their majority in 2022, as the party of the president generally loses during the midterm elections and Joe Biden’s horrific performance may make those losses even worse for Democrats.
If Republicans win just five seats from Democrats, they can take control of the House of Representatives.
Seven House Democrats will not run again during the midterms, compared to just three Republicans. Retirements may signal pessimism about a party’s ability to keep its majority, but they can also make districts that don’t have incumbents harder to retain.
Author: Andrew Owens