Player of the week: Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected this week to answer the big question everyone on Capitol Hill is asking: Will she stay or will she go?

If Pelosi wants to serve as the House Democratic leader in the next Congress, she will. No other Democrat has the votes to defeat her. She is a prolific fundraiser and is trusted by her caucus, which will be bigger in 2013 after cutting into the GOP majority in last week’s election.

Should she step aside, Pelosi would be leaving on a high note. The party is in much better shape than it was two years ago, when Republicans picked up 63 House seats and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate. President Obama famously called those results “a shellacking.”

Pelosi repeatedly insisted that the House was in play in the 2012 cycle, but it never really was. Redistricting helped shore up some Republican seats, and netting 25 seats in a non-wave election is all but impossible.

Still, the Democrats took a significant step forward in their goal of winning the House back. Doing so in 2014 will certainly be discussed, though history has not been kind to presidents in the midterm elections of their second terms.

There are ambitious Democrats who are looking to move up the House leadership ladder. If Pelosi, 72, steps aside, there would be a lot of jockeying in her caucus.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) would both seek promotions. Other Democrats who could launch leadership bids include Reps. John Larson (Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).

But for now, all is quiet as Democrats await word on Pelosi’s decision.