© Greg Nash
The early presidential results in Iowa and New Hampshire are not a good predictor of the election to come, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.
"This is an old back-and-forth. It serves a purpose; it's good theater; it's wonderful for the people of Iowa and New Hampshire," Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "It is not dispositive of the election."
Pelosi, who as House Speaker was the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, has long promoted the idea of having a woman in the Oval Office. But she has stopped short of endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonCoup D’état? First the FBI, Now the intelligence community Obama should pardon Snowden as well as Manning Trump could mean new momentum for drug imports MORE.
Clinton's resounding defeat at the hands of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive areas where Trump and Dems could make a deal Trump could mean new momentum for drug imports Senate Democrats brace for Trump era MORE (I-Vt.) in New Hampshire on Tuesday, combined with her razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses the week before, has given Sanders significant momentum heading into the next contests in Nevada and South Carolina while raising concerns among Clinton supporters that her campaign is struggling.
Pelosi hailed the competitiveness of the races in both parties, arguing that they're generating an interest in the political process that will only benefit the country.
"I'm happy that people are voting. I ... am happy that we're expanding the electorate," she said. "The attraction to the political process, I think, is really, really important. And hopefully people will stay engaged and listen to the debate."
Pelosi also praised the Sanders campaign for its focus on campaign finance reform, which she characterized as "the defining issue" in the effort to "strengthen our democracy."
But she downplayed Sanders's success in Iowa and New Hampshire, noting that the victors in the two states frequently fail to win the White House.
"Every day is a new day," Pelosi said. "There's no question that the momentum and the resources — both political, financial and intellectual — that come with a victory are something that you can't ignore. But I don't think that those two states are dispositive."