DC insiders mull possibility of Pelosi’s impending retirement

As midterm elections draw closer, new speculation continues to mount regarding whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is set to retire from Congress.

One new report indicates that many of her Democratic colleagues are already preparing for life in D.C. without their longtime caucus leader.

“Even if it looks a little bit messy”

Sources said that they expect Pelosi to step down at the end of the current session, which would align with her prior statements on the matter.

Of course, retiring after this term would essentially leave President Joe Biden and House Democrats to navigate the final two years of the current administration without her.

Although some in the party have lamented the prevalence of elderly white leaders, Pelosi has largely commanded the respect of those in her party.

One party leader lauded her ability “to get things done” while uniting the party’s caucus, “even if it looks a little bit messy from the outside.”

Pelosi’s possible departure is simultaneously seen as an opportunity to showcase the Democratic Party’s commitment to diversity, perhaps by promoting Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to the vaulted leadership position.

“We need leaders who are diverse”

If diversity is a major influence in the process of finding a replacement for Pelosi, that could mean Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are out of the running.

As the Washington Post noted, white men who want to become the next Democratic House leader are “in a difficult spot with a party that is looking for more diversity at the top.”

Of course, most Democrats are likely hoping to find someone else capable of keeping the disparate wings of the party in line. For her part, however, progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-CA) floated the idea of a more “decentralized” leadership structure.

“I think I’m going to look any opportunities that are there,” she said of her plans to vie for a leadership post in Congress. “I think we need leaders who are diverse, who are new, who have fresh ideas, people who are organizers, and people who are disciplined and good communicators.”

Regardless of which Democrat ultimately takes up the mantle, it seems clear that Pelosi is not a politician who will be easily replaced.

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