Pelosi hints she might endorse Hillary Clinton in ’16

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi might endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

In her interview with The Hill, the California Democrat left open the possibility of backing the former secretary of State.

Asked if she might endorse a candidate, Pelosi said, “Sure. Sure.”

She noted she has stayed neutral in most presidential primaries. This time, she indicated that could change.

“We’ll see,” Pelosi said.

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Pressed on whether her role as the House’s top Democrat would preclude her from picking sides, Pelosi said, “I don’t know what I’ll do. I really don’t know. I think that if Sen. Clinton — Secretary Clinton, I’m usually calling her the first lady, she has so many titles — if she were to run, I think that she would be the candidate, and I think she’d be one of the best prepared — and she would win — and she’d be one of the best prepared people to go into the White House.”

She added, “Joe Biden is fabulously talented. He, too, would be great. But I think if Hillary goes, I think the general consensus is that she’s the nominee.”

Pelosi has only endorsed two presidential candidates over the last four decades: Jerry Brown, then (and now) the governor of California, in 1976; and Richard Gephardt (Mo.), the former House majority leader, in 2004.

The reason she withheld a formal endorsement in some cases was because of her role as a Democratic official presiding over conventions and other party affairs — positions that would have made it inappropriate, she says, to offer her backing to any one candidate.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” last month, Pelosi called Clinton more prepared to be commander in chief than Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when they were sworn in.

Democrats are hoping to get Clinton’s help as they try to win back the House in 2014.

Earlier this year, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) told The Hill, “I am giving her the time that she has requested to rest, collect her thoughts, recharge her batteries, and then the second — not the minute — the second that she appears to be ready, I will be calling her and asking her for assistance.”