Nancy Pelosi’s Retirement Rumors Swirl, Democrats Swarm for Power 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C), D-CA, speaks during a news conference with Democratic leaders after the passage of the Build Back Better Act at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 19, 2021. - US lawmakers voted to elevate President Joe Biden's giant social welfare bill to …
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) retirement rumors are swirling about Washington, DC, as congressional Democrats are swarming for power.

Pelosi has not officially announced she will retire or campaign for reelection, but CNN reported Friday she may make good on her promise and opt to vacate her seat because it is unlikely Democrats will retain the House majority.

If Pelosi does decide to campaign for reelection, she has a massive war chest ready for deployment. Over the last 20 years of being in Congress, she has reportedly raised over $1 billion for the Democrat caucus.

“Everyone assumes this is her last term, but no one knows for sure,” one Pelosi comrade told CNN. “People don’t realize how hard it was to win (the speaker’s race) last time. (Pelosi’s office denies that the race was difficult.)”

Former top Pelosi staffer Nadeam Elshami also told CNN Pelosi is keeping her reelection plans “close to the vest” and that “[n]o one knows” if she will run for reelection, despite suggesting she would not.

But Atlantic magazine in August published an article that indicated Pelosi will resign from her leadership role.

“Sometime in the not-so-distant future, probably after next year’s midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce that she’s stepping down” the publication reported.

If Pelosi does not run, her daughter has been rumored to have interest in Pelosi’s San Francisco House seat. Of course, the daughter would not be the speaker of the House upon winning, yet it would presumably make sense for Pelosi’s daughter to run, having her mother’s campaign funds at the ready and name ID.

Pelosi’s daughter could also presumably function as her mother’s lasting voice in Congress.

There are also congressional considerations if Pelosi shrinks from seeking the top Democrat House leadership position in 2022. Many House Democrats have been looking for an opportunity to claim the leadership position for themselves.

After the 2020 election, Pelosi narrowly won the speakership over objection from the radical left and less radical members of her party. Five Democrats opposed Pelosi’s speakership but she still won with 216 votes. Pelosi was the “sixth speaker in history to win with fewer than 218 votes” in 2020, Politico estimated.

Several Democrat House members told CNN they are interested in Pelosi’s decision but have not outright stated they would charge forward for the leadership position without Pelosi’s retirement announcement in hand.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is one who did challenge Pelosi in 2020. “She’s previously said that this would be her last term as speaker so I suspect that she would stick to that,” Spanberger said. “But since 2018, I think I’ve been consistent on the fact that I think we really need new voices spreading the word.”

Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger, right, gestures during a debate with Virginia Congressman, Dave Brat, R-Va., left, at Germanna Community College in Culpeper, Va., Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Abigail Spanberger, right, gestures during a debate with Virginia Congressman, Dave Brat, R-Va., left, at Germanna Community College in Culpeper, Va., Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) also appears hungry for power. He told CNN he would not comment on the power vacuum. “I’ll let the drama, in terms of internal House dynamics, exist over on the Republican side of the aisle,” Jeffries said.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) delivers remarks during the House Judiciary Committee markup of H.R. 7120, the "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020," on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. The bill addresses police reforms in the United States and includes provisions to curb police misconduct and the use of excessive force. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) delivers remarks during the House Judiciary Committee markup of H.R. 7120, the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020,” on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who opposed Pelosi winning the speakership in 2020, told CNN she is not satisfied with Pelosi’s leadership.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference to discuss legislation that would strengthen Social Security benefits, on Capitol Hill October 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. The lawmakers discussed their proposed bill, called the Social Security 2100 Act, which would include increased minimum benefits and add caregiver credits for people who have to leave the workforce to care for children or elderly family members. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference to discuss legislation that would strengthen Social Security benefits, on Capitol Hill October 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“I feel like just the history of the party overall has been to almost sideline progressive priorities, racial justice priorities, priorities for the working class, health care, et cetera,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I don’t think that any selection of leadership should ever be a de facto thing.”

“A lot of it depends on the unique constellation of the caucus, at a given moment.” Ocasio-Cortez continued about whether she would support the speaker. “So it’s not just about an individual person,” she continued. “It’s about: Who is our caucus? What is the moment? And what is the alignment at that time.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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