It’s hard to imagine the partisan mud fight that is Washington politics without Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but the longtime House speaker is reportedly in the twilight stage of her government career.
Pelosi is expected to step aside “in the not-so-distant future, probably after next year’s midterm elections” and make way for Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to lead a new generation of House Democrats, The Atlantic reported Tuesday.
That Pelosi is nearing retirement is an open secret in the Democratic caucus.
As Democrats discuss who will succeed Pelosi in hushed tones, there is wide agreement that Jeffries, a Pelosi loyalist who chairs the Democratic caucus, will get the job.
Dems tiptoeing around Pelosi
“Democratic members of Congress won’t talk about any of this publicly, as if Pelosi might suddenly appear and pull their hearts from their chests. Jeffries, carefully, left it at telling me that growing up in a Black church taught him to respect and value his elders,” the Atlantic report stated.
Pelosi’s “top deputies” are also in their 80s and the “day is coming” when the party will need fresh blood at the top, The Atlantic added.
“Her top deputies, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, aspire to her job,” the report said, “but they’re also in their early 80s, and most Democrats in and out of Congress are counting on them to step aside too. Of course, they all have stock responses denying that anyone is ever going anywhere.”
On her last run?
The California lawmaker was first elected speaker in 2007, and she reclaimed the office after Democrats won back the House in the 2018 elections. Her third term, which coincided with the second half of Donald Trump’s presidency, was marked by constant drama and feuding between Pelosi and Trump.
While these may be the final months of Pelosi’s speakership, she isn’t slowing down. The career politician has been busy passing Joe Biden’s agenda and tyrannizing her opposition, or what she calls the “enemy within.”
The speaker seems to be enjoying her power while it lasts, and some have likened her increasingly capricious behavior in the last stretch of her career to that of a tyrant. But Pelosi has remained characteristically aloof to criticism and is as confident as ever about her party’s prospects.
“I’m very confident that we will win the House,” Pelosi said last week, according to Fox News. “I always run from behind.”