‘Hang up the cleats’: Pelosi’s announcement to run again met with pushback on CNN

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will be 82 years old in March, announced on Tuesday that she will seek reelection, putting to rest all the scuttlebutt about the possibility of retiring.

An interesting factor in the decision is that when Pelosi was elected speaker for the 117th Congress, it was expected to be her last term holding the gavel. After the November 2020 election, Pelosi publicly affirmed that she would adhere to an earlier commitment to her caucus that she would not serve as speaker beyond 2022, Roll Call reported at the time.

Equally interesting is that some Democrats, such as former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers, now a CNN political analyst, are calling for Pelosi to “hang up the cleats.”

Sellers appeared on CNN’s “The Lead,” and said in response to the announcement that the California Democrat should needs to allow more people within the party to take on leadership roles.

“I firmly believe that it’s time for new leadership in the House Democratic Caucus,” he said. “I think it’s time for new leadership throughout the Democratic Party. Not only do we have to get younger but more vibrant and have bigger and bolder ideas to bring in a new generation of voters,” Sellers said, after noting that Pelosi did not say she was running for speaker again.

“I will also say in the same breath that Nancy Pelosi will go down in history as probably the greatest speaker of all time,” Sellers continued. “Whether or not you’re talking about ushering a country through Covid or passing Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. So, her legacy is already written. But there comes a time, whether or not you’re Nancy Pelosi, or whether or not you’re, you know, Tom Brady, that sometimes you have to hang up the cleats when it comes to being leader of your particular party or leader of your organization and I think she recognizes that. Part of being a great leader is knowing when it is time to turn the reins over. I think she, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn should all possibly usher in new leadership.

Pelosi released a video on Tuesday announcing her decision that amounted to some great production work, as the octogenarian came across as a coy, almost subserviently schoolgirl, humbly seeking the support of voters who share the same “San Francisco values.”

The statement that came with the video does not sound as if Pelosi is intending to step aside anytime soon.

“While we have made progress much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives. This election is crucial: nothing less is at stake than our Democracy,” the tweet stated. “But we don’t agonize — we organize. I am running for re-election to Congress to deliver For The People and defend Democracy.”

CNN host Jake Tapper asked Quin Hillyer, a senior commentary writer for the Washington Examiner, if it’s “bad news for the Republicans” that Pelosi will run again, and he replied that “it almost doesn’t matter,” suggesting what many pundits are saying, that the Democratic Party “probably will not hold a majority in the fall.”

“So she won’t be speaker either way,” he added. “She has been effective at sort of short-term tactical things. Getting legislation passed that she wanted. The problem that she has had is that a lot of what she has pushed through has made her party pretty unpopular and they’ve lost in the next election. So she’s been both blessing and curse for the Democrats and for the Republicans.

Sellers countered to say “there’s nothing short-term about passing the Affordable Care Act.” Never mind that Barack Obama’s signature legislation passed in 2010.


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