For now, Nancy Pelosi isn’t going anywhere.
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi confirmed this week that she plans to stick around at least through 2016, regardless of the outcome of mid-term election in November.
Pelosi, D-Calif., says she has set her sights on regaining the majority in 2016.
“I know that in two years there will be a Democratic congress and a Democratic president,” she said in a transcript of her weekly briefing. “ . . . so in this fall it’s important for us to come as close to that as possible.”
On Wednesday, Pelosi told reporters that she was not conceding the 2014 midterm elections, but the remarks are a scaling-back from her previous optimism.
In July, Pelosi predicted the Democrats would pick up 25 GOP seats in November, gains most analysts called nearly impossible.
The president’s party rarely gains House seats in a midterm election– it has happened only three times since the Civil War– and mid-term elections historically favor Republicans, whose voters skew older and whiter.
President Barack Obama’s low approval rating doesn’t help the Democrats’ chances to gain the 17 seats necessary for Pelosi to take back the speaker’s gavel in the near term; neither does the 2010 redistricting that strengthened a number of Republican seats across the country.
Events over the next two years could change the political landscape in advance of the national election in 2016.
Pelosi’s ambitions are crystal clear. She wants to regain the speakership and go out on top, serving as speaker during a possible Hillary Clinton presidency. Pelosi has said in the past that she believes Clinton should run and would be successful in 2016.
To get to that place, she will have to hold onto as many Democratic seats as possible in November’s midterms.