Democratic Leader Pelosi Vows to Become House Speaker

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi believes she has the votes to retake the speakership of the House of Representatives, she told reporters on Thursday, despite a string of critics within her party who have said they would oppose her bid.

“I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes … I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “I happen to think that at this point, I’m the best person for that.”

Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in midterm congressional elections last week, although vote tallies continue to trickle in for some House races that were too close to call. Republicans held on to a majority in the Senate.

Pelosi, who has led the House Democratic party for 16 years, wants to reclaim the House’s top job of speaker, which she held from 2007 to 2011 and is next in the line of presidential succession after the vice president.

But a small but vocal group of Democrats have argued that the 78-year-old should step aside and allow generational change.

While Pelosi is expected to win an internal party vote that should take place in two weeks, it is not clear if she has the necessary support for a House floor vote for Speaker in January, when both Democrats and Republicans will be voting.

So far, 17 people within the Democratic party have signed a letter pledging not to back Pelosi during the House floor vote, Democratic aides said. Asked about the letter, Pelosi told reporters they should ask the signatories, most of whom she said were men, what their motivations were.

No challenger has emerged to Pelosi, although Representative Marcia Fudge, a former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, has told some media outlets that she is considering a bid.

Fudge, a 66-year-old liberal who represents a district in northeastern Ohio, has been agitating over the past few years for new leadership in House Democratic ranks. She was a supporter of Representative Tim Ryan’s failed bid in 2016 to unseat Pelosi as Democratic leader.

“Come on in, the water’s warm,” Pelosi said when asked about Fudge.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bernadette Baum)

What do you think?

7 pledges
Upvote Downvote
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Kathryn Salinger
Member

She will do great! No one and I mean NO ONE could do a better job than her.

Screwtape
Member

Well good luck with your intent Nancy, but votes are what count.

Madison Dibble
Admin

She seems confident, but I think she’s got a bigger fight ahead of her than she might realize. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was literally protesting in her office. It could take a lot to win her and her supporters over.

Emily Hulsey
Admin

Agree. I think she’s more confident than she should be. Several newly elected Democrats have said they won’t be supporting her: https://ijr.com/pelosi-newly-elected-dems-speaker/

Screwtape
Member

Agreed. Nancy is facing a sea-change. A lot of the “not so old” guard have grudges, especially after 2016. q.v. Tim Ryan, Martha Fudge. The “youngsters” also appear to resent the direction of the party and that it’s run by people in their 70s.

An Awards Show Actually Managed to Avoid Politics for Once, and People Are So Appreciative of It

Pelosi’s Message to Other Dems in Speakership Race: ‘Come on in, the Water’s Warm’