Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Big Government this week that her mother wants to leave Congress–and that she remains in Washington only at the behest of her campaign donors.
During a telephone interview, Ms. Pelosi–speaking from a friend’s home in New York City–described her mother’s predicament:
She would retire right now, if the donors she has didn’t want her to stay so badly. They know she wants to leave, though. They think she’s destined for the wilderness. She has very few days left. She’s 71, she wants to have a life, she’s done. It’s obligation, that’s all I’m saying.
Pelosi’s revelation is significant, given that her mother pushed to serve as Minority Leader after the Democrats’ historic losses in the 2010 midterm elections, and that many Democrats–including President Barack Obama–are campaigning on the expectation that she will be restored as Speaker if they can retake the House in 2012.
Alexandra Pelosi, 41, is a television producer and documentarian who won multiple Emmy awards for her work on Journeys with George (2002), an HBO documentary on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. The film was widely hailed as fair in its depiction of a president not used to sympathetic media portrayals.
In speaking to Big Government, Pelosi–who was polite and friendly throughout–also criticized CNN anchor Anderson Cooper:
Look, you guys are journalists, so you do what you have to do. I could give you chapter and verse on what’s going on in the media–and I’m not talking about Andrew Breitbart, I’m talking about Anderson Cooper–so as long as you guys tell the truth, just write whatever you want, and feel free to call me anytime.
In a follow-up exchange text message, Pelosi elaborated on her remarks about Cooper:
I make television-i know about editing! I worked at NBC for 10 years+ 11 for 11 – I edit for a living. I just I know for a fact that 60 minutes and cnn have edited NP [Nancy Pelosi] out of context! XO, A
Minority Leader Pelosi’s departure would make room for her deputy and former rival, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who currently serves as Minority Whip.
Hoyer is widely seen as more moderate than Pelosi. She opposed his election to the party leadership in 2006, choosing instead to back the late Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), despite his ethical challenges.
UPDATE: This morning, Alexandra texted me:
Get your facts straight: I said she is destined for GREATNESS! Not wilderness. And that text was supposed to say HBO for 11. I have never talked to Nancy Pelosi about any of this.
Interestingly, Alexandra doesn’t challenge the crux of the story; that Pelosi would prefer to leave Congress and only remains out of a sense of obligation to her donors.