For many Republicans, the idea that Nancy Pelosi could again become Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is a nightmare. Anyone who thought that the 2010 election results put a stop to the Pelosi liberal agenda and federal government overreach needs to realize that Ms. Pelosi is on a no-holds-barred mission to retake the Speaker’s gavel. 2012 is about unseating President Obama at the top of the ticket, but keeping Nancy Pelosi on the sidelines permanently needs to be at the top of the list as well.
“I feel comfortable about our ability to win it back,” Pelosi said in an interview, as she approached the six-month mark of being in the minority again. “I have a sense of responsibility to win it back, a plan to do so, and a confidence that it is very much possible to do so.”
Democrats say privately that if she can’t deliver the majority back next year, Pelosi’s days as leader are probably over. And even if she does, they may decide it is time for a team of fresher faces. At the beginning of this congressional session, 19 of her Democratic colleagues delivered a symbolic rebuke by voting against her for speaker.
Though her party lost a staggering 63 House seats in last year’s midterms — a defeat Pelosi blames on the economy, not the aggressive agenda she set — she insisted it is primed for 2012.
Instead of having to defend Democratic seats in Republican territory, her party will be playing offense, Pelosi argued, zeroing in on the 60 GOP members who represent districts that Obama carried in 2008.
What makes Pelosi different is not that she lost that cherished gavel — but that she didn’t head for the exit when she did. Pelosi is the first former speaker since Sam Rayburn, more than half a century ago, to remain in the House as the head of her party and to fight to get her majority back.