Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declined on Dec. 13 to respond to a CNN report that she’s planning to seek another term in the House of Representatives and that she hasn’t definitively ruled out seeking two more years of holding the gavel.
And keeping everybody guessing her intentions is exactly what she should do, political strategists say.
Easily the most visible congressional Democrat since 2007, when she became the first woman in U.S. history to be chosen as Speaker of the House, Pelosi, 81, said on Nov. 18, 2020—shortly after being renominated as House speaker—that she would abide by her 2018 vow that her current term would be her last.
That vow came in response to demands from a handful of House Democrats who were concerned about Pelosi’s advancing age and that of the other two House leaders, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), 82, and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), 81.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) was the leader of the group of dissident Democrats. Perlmutter’s spokesman didn’t respond to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi will stay until at least after the midterm elections, extending her nearly 20-year run as the House’s top Democrat after she turns 82 and, perhaps, beyond,” the Dec. 13 CNN report reads.
“She is planning to file and run for reelection in her San Francisco district next year—at least for now—in keeping with her pattern of deciding about staying in Congress after the elections, when she likely will have won an 18th full term.
“And sources familiar with Pelosi’s thinking say she isn’t ruling out the possibility of trying to stay in leadership after 2022, despite her original vow to leave as the top House Democrat.”
CNN didn’t name its sources for the story.
All of the Democratic strategists approached by The Epoch Times for comment on Pelosi’s future declined to do so, a measure perhaps of the power and influence she has accumulated in 17 congressional terms. Republicans, however, weren’t so reticent.
“I think she has to say that [she’s running again] until the Build Back Better bill passes, assuming it does,” Matt Mackowiak, president of the Washington and Austin, Texas-based Potomac Strategy Group, told The Epoch Times.
Brian Darling, former counsel to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and founder of Liberty Government Affairs in Washington, said he believes that Pelosi “is on borrowed time as Speaker” due to the political environment created by Biden.
“Pelosi has been a very effective leader for Democrats, and she has done a good job of keeping her fractured caucus together. Yet that is not enough to save Democrats’ next cycle,” Darling said.
“With President Biden’s poll numbers in the dumps, inflation being perceived as a big problem, and no Trump on the ticket, things look really grim for Democrats. It is likely that Democrats lose between 40 and 60 seats in the House, in my estimation.”