Gingrich has been in those shoes. The architect of the GOP's 1994 House takeover, Gingrich's star fell just as quickly four years later when Republicans suffered landslide losses in the 1998 midterms — largely the consequence of Gingrich's budget standoff with President Bill Clinton a few years earlier.
Rather than stick around as the radioactive figurehead of a diminished GOP, Gingrich retired at the end of the year.
Pelosi on Wednesday defended her reign as Speaker ("no regrets!"), but was much less certain about her future on Capitol Hill.
“I’ll have a conversation with my caucus, I’ll have a conversation with my family, and pray over it, and decide how to go forward,” she told ABC’s Diane Sawyer for “World News Tonight.” “But today isn’t that day."
Gingrich on Thursday said there's no reason to doubt her sincerity.
“She probably has deep regrets about losing but no regrets about what she did,” Gingrich said. “She is a determined San Francisco liberal who wanted to fundamentally change America, and I think if she had to do it over she'd ram through healthcare [reform] and ram through the spending programs and take the risk.”
The Georgia Republican — who's mulling a run at the presidency in 2012 — also noted that Pelosi is no stranger to dramatic shakeups on Capitol Hill.
“She was in the House when the Democrats lost in 1994 for the first time in 40 years, which was probably a bigger shock than this particular defeat because after 1994, we've proven Republicans could be a majority,” he said.
“She's a very tough professional. She's been at this a long time.”