To conservatives nationwide, it feels as though Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been Speaker of the House for a generation. While she has been in Congress that long (35 years), she first took up the speakership in 2007, relinquishing it only briefly for one term during former President Donald Trump’s first two years in office.
Now, the first person to ever hold the title of “Madame Speaker” will decide whether to hang it up and pass the torch. According to her Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, that decision will come Thursday. Many believe that her loss of the speakership coupled with the need to care for her husband, who is recovering from serious head wounds inflicted by a hammer-wielding assailant, will push her into retirement.
Critics may have the habit of thinking of this woman as emotionless, but this has to be an emotional time for her.
“Speaker Pelosi has been overwhelmed by calls from colleagues, friends and supporters,” said Hammill. “The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Stay tuned.”
@SpeakerPelosi has been overwhelmed by calls from colleagues, friends and supporters. This evening, the Speaker monitored returns in the three remaining critical states. The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Stay tuned.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) November 17, 2022
The GOP won its 218th seat when The Associated Press projected Republican Mike Garcia would win re-election in California’s 27th Congressional District.
It does seem like a natural time for Pelosi to leave her second home of Washington, D.C. and enjoy her remaining years in San Francisco. In the somewhat unlikely event that Democrats retake the House in 2024, she would be 84 and rather a long shot to become speaker for the third time.
Inasmuch as anyone looks to President Joe Biden to respond to the news anymore, they were able to find a statement from him on these developments. As to the change in House leadership, he congratulated Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), for his party’s victory. Regarding his ally in the House, he has asked Pelosi to remain in Congress and to continue holding a Democratic leadership role, according to Reuters’ sources. Mostly, though, he used the circumstances as an opportunity to be polemical.
“In this election, voters spoke clearly about their concerns: the need to lower costs, protect the right to choose, and preserve our democracy,” Biden said Wednesday, following that with a seemingly disingenuous sentence, considering his two-year posture towards Republicans: “I will work with anyone — Republican or Democrat — willing to work with me to deliver results for them.”
The rumor mill has been churning, saying that Pelosi will leave office. Here is a tweet and response that summarizes where Democrats are on the matter of a potential change in leadership.
Yes and no, there won’t be anyone who can whip votes like Pelosi
— Jon Dulaney (@dulaney_jon) November 17, 2022
Pelosi has been seen as effective, especially as a fundraiser, having raised hundreds of millions for Democratic candidates. She also has the reputation of being a “savvy tactician,” although that moniker has perhaps given way recently to “ruthless partisan” or perhaps “insider trading expert.”
She never met a war she didn’t want to fund, a corporation she didn’t want to bailout or pass up a chance to line her pockets from insider trading. Good riddance and retire already. You were truly worthless to the working class only wish @ShahidForChange would have retired you
— D Dub (@DanielW8080) November 17, 2022
And then there is the matter of who would take over for Pelosi, both her seat and her leadership role. Many believe she will bequeath her seat to her daughter Christine, which apparently is how it is done nowadays.
Christine Pelosi, 56, wrote a book about her mother in 2019, “The Nancy Pelosi Way: Advice on Success, Leadership, and Politics from America’s Most Powerful Woman.” Having held many positions in the California Democratic Party and also the role of Chief of Staff to Rep John Tierney (D-MA) from 2001 to 2005, and having been an activist for many years, she seems poised to take over at some point, if not now.
We’ll all believe it when we see it, though. Pelosi has long seemed to be a politician who would die in office. Just as there wasn’t much mystery to what former President Donald Trump would announce on Tuesday night, conventional wisdom would anticipate that Pelosi will remain. It is hard for anyone to give up power, let alone a political animal like Pelosi.
Stay the course, queen.
— Kim (not related to Blake, thank God) Masters (@kimmasters) November 17, 2022
But if she does decide to retire, the leadership appears poised to pass to New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, although his criticism of “The Squad” and its leader, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) leaves him in poor stead with the socialist wing of the party.
In October, Jeffries said, “There’s a difference between the socialist machine and mainstream progressives.”
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