Pelosi Reportedly Intends to Lead House Democrats Through 2022 Midterm Election, Possibly Longer
04:02 GMT 13.12.2021 (Updated: 20:35 GMT 19.10.2022)
US Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has served as the leader of House Democrats since 2003, having served twice as the House majority and the minority leader. Pelosi will turn 82 in March and shows no indication that she’s ready to step down.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly plans to run for re-election in California's 12th district next year, likely securing an 18th term in office, sources familiar with Pelosi's thinking
revealed late Sunday. However, Pelosi's plans following the 2022 midterms are of much greater concern to House Democrats.
In November 2020, Pelosi insinuated
that this would be her final term as speaker. Pelosi has yet to definitively announce her intentions, but those close to her believe that she will consider trying to secure another go-round as the House Democratic leader.
Her presence has long agitated her colleagues across the aisle, but in recent years, as the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has grown in strength and confidence, she has drawn the ire of her own party.
US Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), a prospective successor to Pelosi, described the difficulty in leading the party, noting that "Democrats are not a cult. We're a coalition".
Jeffries' implication that Democrats represent a wide variety of sometimes competing interests highlights the difficult situation the party finds itself in.
US Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) expressed her frustration with the party's lack of overall unity, saying: "We can keep saying our diversity is our power - but guess what? I got more s**t from my fellow Democratic colleagues over the past months than I did from the Republicans".
She went so far as to say: "We're eating our own at a time when we should be doing everything we can to hold onto our slim majority. Progressives need to remember that Republicans are the ones who want to destroy our democracy, not moderates in their own caucus".
The idea of House Democrats being led by someone other than Pelosi causes both excitement and apprehension, according to some. A number of Democrats feel like US Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), who described Pelosi as being someone who "says a lot of things and doesn't seem to be able to deliver".
House Democrats that lean toward more progressive ideas or believe that Pelosi is the consummate politician - saying one thing and doing another - appear ready and willing to move on from her leadership.
Yet, there are those in the Democratic Party that believe her tact and political savvy will be necessary in the wake of a presumed red wave. US Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) described Pelosi glowingly as a "trauma surgeon for these bills, There were so many times -- sometimes multiple times a day -- when a bill was dead and she was able to put the paddles on and revive it".
Pelosi has been at the forefront of American politics for the past two decades. During her tenure as speaker of the House, she has helped pass massive pieces of legislation, from the Affordable Care Act to Dodd-Frank. In 2021 alone, she helped pass an enormous infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act in the House.