Pelosi hints at another term

Pelosi hints at another term
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is hinting that she'll remain in Washington for at least another term.

The 15-term California Democrat has led her party since 2003, the longest run in 55 years, and each new election cycle brings renewed intrigue about her future plans — a topic she rarely addresses.

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But on Wednesday she teased the prognosticators, suggesting she'll stick around into the next Congress.

Asked by a reporter if she hasn't made a post-election decision, Pelosi said, "Maybe I have made a decision, and it doesn't have too much change involved."

The remarks were first reported by Bloomberg News. 

Pelosi emphasized that she's not revealing any final plans at this early stage in the year, and her chief spokesman drilled that message home in a subsequent email.

"The Leader has always said she's not here on a shift, but on a mission," Drew Hammill said. "We won't be making any announcements to reporters in the hallway."

Still, Pelosi's comments are the most pointed indication to date that the long-time Democratic leader has no immediate plans to retire.

"I like it here," she said.

The question of Democratic leadership has been a biennial topic of debate in recent years, as the party's top brass — Pelosi and Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.) and James Clyburn (S.C.) — have held the leading spots for roughly a decade. 

Those dynamics have been highlighted by the imminent exodus of several top House Democrats who were thought to be on course to lead the party into the future, notably Reps. Steve Israel (N.Y.), who's retiring, and Chris Van Hollen (Md.), who's running for Senate.

Pelosi on Wednesday dismissed the notion that the departures leave the party with a thin bench.

"We have tremendous talent and have plenty of options," she said, "but there's a steady stream of members here."