The pending departures of Reps. George Miller and Henry Waxman mean Pelosi will have to do without her most trusted lieutenants if she decides to run again as Democratic leader.
She’s been a whirlwind fundraiser this Congress, breaking all previous records for the party with a $35 million haul in 2013 alone, according to her office. If she stepped aside, the morale for already out-of-power Democrats would crater. Pelosi’s inner circle insists that the wave of veteran retirements — which also includes another friend in Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D) —is no indication she’s also on her way out.
A number of Democratic sources on and off Capitol Hill are guessing a potential presidential run by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would keep Pelosi – a tireless voice for women’s empowerment – around at least through 2016.
“The first woman Speaker of the House would want to help the first woman president of the United States,” said one Democratic aide. “I don’t see anything that shows she’s heading for the exits.” A second House Democratic aide echoed that message, saying it’s “highly doubtful” Pelosi would step down ahead of a potential Clinton run.
“We’re about to come up on an historic election, so it would be a strange time to throw in the towel,” the aide said.
She is excited at the possibility she could be a House ally of the first female president — assuming Clinton runs and wins.
Pelosi said Clinton “would be the most qualified person to enter the White House in modern history.”
SOURCES-GREG NASH, MIKE LILLIS, THE HILL