Rep. Clyburn: Pelosi can keep top House Dem post after election 'if she wants to'

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will continue to lead House Democrats in the next Congress if she chooses to, Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (S.C.) said Tuesday.

Clyburn, speaking on MSNBC on Election Day, was asked whether Democrats would vote Pelosi out of her leadership position if Republicans retained control of the House.

"It all depends on what Nancy wants to do. If she wants to run for reelection, I guarantee you she will get reelected," Clyburn said on MSNBC. "She has the votes to do that.


"No question about that, because most members on the Democratic side understand exactly what we're up against, we have redistricting that went really against us in a really bad way, we've had these changes in election laws down in Florida, out in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, North Carolina," he added. "My lord, we just got decimated in North Carolina because they've got a rule there that the governor has nothing to do with but if the Legislature decides to do, that's what it'll be. So when the Republicans took over the legislature in North Carolina, that was just doom for us. So these things happen." 

House Democrats are slated to hold their leadership elections on Nov. 29.

While there has been speculation that Pelosi may step down after being House Democratic leader for a decade, she has remained silent on her post-election plans, saying only that she was focused on helping Democrats re-take the House. 

Clyburn had challenged the No. 2 Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in 2012 for his spot, but abandoned the challenge after Pelosi offered Clyburn the third-ranking leadership spot. 

Earlier in the year Clyburn suggested that he might seek a higher position in the Democratic leadership, either as majority leader or Speaker of the House if Democrats regained control of the chamber. 

"I’m not closing the door on anything,” he said in May.

On Tuesday, though, Clyburn said Democrats would not punish Pelosi if the drive to retake the House fell short.

"We're pretty grown-up people in this process and we knew in 2010 that we could expect this kind of result with redistricting," said Clyburn.