One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) top deputies said Tuesday that he does not intend to pursue his superior's job after the November midterms.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who serves as both Assistant to the Speaker and chairman of the House Democrats' campaign committee, told Fox News he is focused on the midterm election and the policy debates before Congress.
"I have no intention of wanting to be Speaker of the House. I am very focused on the 2010 midterm election," he told Fox News, adding that he is focused on "what we have in front of us."
Speculation has stirred about Pelosi's future following the elections, where her party is expected to lose seats, and very possibly control of the House.
Van Hollen is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Caucus and has been very visible during the campaign season.
But he said he is in politics to deal with policy matters, such as the debate over the expiring Bush tax cuts, and not to climb the ladder.
"I think most people
in politics do it for the right reasons — to focus on the policy
agenda," he said.
He predicted again Tuesday that Democrats would keep their majority in the House because voters don't want to give Republicans the ability to restore policies that started the economic downturn.
"It's not going to happen," he said. "I am very optimistic that as the American people focus on the choice we are making ... why in the world would you want to go back to the same economic agenda that got us into this mess?"