Pelosi confident she will be Speaker

Pelosi confident she will be Speaker
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Mnuchin reach 'near-final agreement' on budget, debt ceiling Wendy Davis launches bid for Congress in Texas Steyer calls on Pelosi to cancel 'six-week vacation' for Congress MORE (D-Calif.) expressed confidence she will become the next Speaker of the House, regaining a position she lost in 2010 after Republicans swept into the majority after that year’s midterm elections.

“It’s not about what you have done, it’s what you can do. What you have done in the past speaks to your credentials, but it’s about what you can do, and I think I’m the best person to go forward to unify, to negotiate,” she said at a press conference Wednesday, responding to a question about her confidence she would continue in the role after Democrats regained the House majority.

“So I think that my case is about being the best person on how to go forward and I’m not going to answer any more questions on that subject,” she added.

Democrats regained the majority in the House of Representatives Tuesday, nearly immediately sparking races for new leadership positions.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill The House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border MORE (D-Md.), the minority whip, declared he will run to remain Pelosi’s right-hand next year as the House majority leader. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who’s currently No. 3 as the assistant leader, said he will run for the majority whip spot.

Pelosi, the first woman to hold the Speaker's gavel, faced some stiff opposition to regain her leadership position from Democrats in tight races on the campaign trail, many of whom were seeking to flip Republican-held districts where the California congresswoman remains a GOP foil.

Her detractors say roughly a dozen incumbent Democrats are ready to oppose her bid for Speaker.

However, with Hoyer and Clyburn announcing they would run for more subordinate leadership positions, Pelosi will likely not face a challenge from a representative with significant pull among the caucus members.

Pelosi fended off a spirited challenge from Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-Ohio) for minority leader following the 2016 elections, winning the support of about two-thirds of her party.

Aware of the polarization over her position among candidates on the campaign trail, Pelosi hinted last month her Speakership will be a "transitional" one.

“I see myself as a transitional figure,” Pelosi told the Los Angeles Times. “I have things to do. Books to write, places to go, grandchildren, first and foremost, to love.” 

She added she would like to hand the Speaker’s gavel off to another woman, but also noted she would not hand-pick her successor.

“Whoever is next is not up to me,” she said. “If I were saying, ‘I want so-and-so to be my successor,’ that’s not right.”

Mike Lillis contributed.