Pelosi confident she will be Speaker

Pelosi confident she will be Speaker
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiFeehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Key GOP senator: 'We need a breakthrough' on spending talks Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran 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.

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Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: Round 2 of House impeachment inquiry hearings Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony 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) RyanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Tim Ryan endorses Biden for president Strategists say Warren 'Medicare for All' plan could appeal to centrists 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.