No one expects Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stay in Congress after the Dems lose the House today. But even if the Dems pull an inside straight and keep the House most expect the Dems will pick a new, younger Speaker.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich offered a rare compliment to his former rival as the end nears. He said: “You could argue she’s been the strongest speaker in history. She has shown more capacity to organize and muscle, with really narrow margins, which I would’ve thought impossible.”
Pelosi also dropped some massive hints about her future to CNN’s Anderson Cooper in her first interview after the tragic attack on her husband Paul by a deranged illegal immigrant from Canada. The transcript is below:
Anderson Cooper: How concerned are you about tomorrow?
Speaker Pelosi: As I said, I have heard from at least 50 of our candidates in races that are, shall we say, in some view, too close to call, in our view, ours. And I feel optimistic, just depends on turnout.
And I’m a former party chair. And I’m always about owning the ground and getting out the vote. And I feel confident that we’re in that position. Their races are close. Some of them could go one way or another. We could split it. We’ll see. But it’s up to the people, And whatever happens, we will respect the results of the election.
Anderson Cooper: I know – there’s obviously been a lot of discussion about whether you’d retire if Democrats lose the House. I know you’re not going to answer that question. So I’m not going to even ask that question.
Speaker Pelosi: Oh good, I’m glad.
Anderson Cooper: But I will ask, can you confirm that you’ve made a decision about what you would do?
Speaker Pelosi: That’s like asking the question, isn’t it?
Anderson Cooper: No, I’m not asking what the decision is. I’m just asking, have you looked ahead? And have you made the decision in your mind, whatever that decision might be?
Speaker Pelosi: Well, I have to say my decision will be affected about what happened the last week or two.
Anderson Cooper: Will it be – will your decision be impacted by the attack in any way?
Speaker Pelosi: Yes.
Anderson Cooper: It will?
Speaker Pelosi: Yes. And it will impacted by – well, I – let me just say this: I have been blessed by my colleagues. As Whip first, then Leader, and then Speaker of the House for four terms. That’s a great honor.
Greatest honor I have, though, is to represent the people of San Francisco. To walk on the Floor of the House – every time I walk on, I think, ‘They chose me to be the one to speak for them.’
Anderson Cooper: They’ve chosen you for a long time.
Speaker Pelosi: They have, 35 years. Imagine, I only thought I was coming for ten years at the most. If that. And here I am. I never expected to run. I never expected to run for leadership. But people encouraged me to run, and then people go to run for leadership. And here I am.
But this institution is a great institution. My father served here, and I had great reverence for it. I was taught that as a little girl. And then when he was Mayor, of course, he always referenced his service in Congress.
It’s a place where great things have happened for our country. To see the assault on January 6th on this Capitol was something that was so devastating and traumatic for many of us. Some of my Members who are calling me about their races now, and understanding the trauma we’re experiencing again with Paul – we’re revisiting the trauma they felt that day on January 6th, having the same root, disinformation and the rest.
So I think it’s really important for us to find a way to restore unity in the Congress of the United States. And to do so by showing who’s meeting the needs of the American people and, hopefully, pulling some folks to that point of view.
Anderson Cooper: Do you think if – if the rhetoric doesn’t change, if vitriol and division doesn’t heal to some degree, that there will be more attacks on people’s family, on people in public –
Speaker Pelosi: Well, I certainly hope not. I mean, when somebody is assaulted in your family because you – I mean, he was not looking for Paul, he was looking for me. Members, I think, have to weigh that among the equities as to whether they will run.
And we want Democrats, Republicans, everyone to see the opportunity to run and make their contribution to our country, whether it’s at the state or local level, or at the federal level. As they weigh the equities, it has to be one that is made with confidence and not with fear that something could happen to their families.
Anderson Cooper: Do you worry that something like this will dissuade future people, young people who are thinking about a life in – of service, a life of public service. And as you said, your dad served, you looked up to him, you served. Do you worry that the tenor of everything, that just makes good people not want to serve?
Speaker Pelosi: Running for office, it’s really a family decision. And that’s going to have to be up to their families, to decide whether it’s worth – there aren’t – most of the people that we want to run have options.
They have options to be in the academic world, in the military and in all – law enforcement, in all kinds of fields where they can thrive. They’re not people without options. And so they have to weigh the – what it means to their families, that they would run.
I don’t think that this will become an epidemic of violence. But I do think that there has to be some message to the Republicans to stop, to stop the disinformation, because that is, without any question, a source of what happened on January 6th, and then the denial of all of that, and then the source of what is happening to me right now.
Now, I’ve been a target for a long time, because I’m very effective. I’m a great – she says – master of the legislation. I love doing that. That is what I love to do, is to write legislation, And on the policy side, on the political side, I’m an outstanding, shall we say, a master of the resources necessary, intellectual, financial or political, to win elections. And so they have to put a stop to me, right? Because, because they know that I’m about having our Members succeed. I have great confidence in our Members. And every compliment I receive about being a great legislator or a great political force, I convey that gratitude to my Members, for their courage, for their astuteness, for their excellence, and I take great pride in what they – we all do working together.
Anderson Cooper: Tomorrow, election day, what’s your message to voters?
Speaker Pelosi: To vote. I think the vote tomorrow is a vote to defend our democracy. But I just want you to vote. And we will respect the outcome of the election. And I would hope that the other side would do that as well.
I sent a message to my colleagues, that it’s, we have to own the ground tomorrow. And we want to help protect the sanctity of the vote, as well as the safety of our precinct workers and our poll workers.
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