Pelosi: Democrats coalescing around Hillary for president

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an interview Thursday that she hopes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will run for the White House in 2016, saying the Democratic party was coalescing behind the former first lady.

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"I'm not making endorsements right now, because I don't think that's appropriate," Pelosi told USA Today. "But I am gauging, I'm gauging. I'm encouraging people to think about it, so in case she asks us, we have something to say to her."

The former Speaker of the House added that "there's a great deal of excitement about the prospect that she would run" and that she thought were Clinton to enter the race, she would prevail.

"I don't know why she wouldn't run," Pelosi said. "She's prepared. She's well-known. She's highly respected. She knows she could do the job very, very well."

Moreover, Pelosi said, if Clinton were to run, "she would be the best-prepared person to enter the White House in decades."

Pelosi's comments come just days after other prominent Democrats have voiced their desire to see Clinton enter the race. Both Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have said they hope she's entering the race, and a political action committee with the mission of drafting Clinton into the race met with prominent Democratic donors earlier this week in New York City. 

Clinton has not yet said if she plans to run, although early polling suggests she would hold a commanding lead over other potential Democratic primary candidates, including Vice President Biden.