Pelosi: 'My work is not finished'

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is running for another term in Congress.

The Democratic leader's future, a perennial topic of discussion in Washington, came into question once again Thursday with news that Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), one of her closest confidants, will retire at the end of the year.

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Those close to Pelosi insist she wouldn't follow suit, citing her rampant pace on the fundraising trail that's led to a record haul for the Democrats this Congress.

The announcement of Waxman's exit came just weeks after Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), another close ally to the House minority leader, announced his retirement plans. 

With some of her top lieutenants on their way out, it's fueled speculation the former Speaker is also headed for the exits. But that's a notion Pelosi is trying to nip in the bud.

"I'm running. I've already started the paperwork process," she said Thursday in an email. "My work is not finished."

Pelosi is famously private about her future plans, ever insisting that she's focused on the current year's business — both the politics and the policy — but not beyond.

She defied the prognosticators who thought she would step out of leadership after the disastrous 2010 elections, which saw the Democrats lose 63 seats and control of the Speaker's gavel. And Pelosi disregarded the skeptics once more in 2012, when the Democrats picked up eight seats but not enough to retake the lower chamber.

By announcing her intention to seek reelection this year, Pelosi has not precluded the possibility of resigning after the midterms. Still, 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 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."