President Hillary Clinton Key To Nancy Pelosi’s Return As Speaker

Nancy Pelosi has made clear she wants to make history again. Not this year but in 2016, when she hopes to reclaim the House speakership under a President Hillary Rodham Clinton and shatter the glass ceiling to smithereens.

But first she must hold down Democratic losses on election day, or risk seeing that vision slip out of reach.

“If the Republicans were to net 12 or 13 seats, it would be next to impossible for Nancy to take over the speaker’s gavel even if Hillary won” in 2016, said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “The Republicans would almost have a Hillary-proof majority.”

Republicans now hold 234 House seats out of 435. Just a dozen more would give them their biggest majority since Harry Truman was president in 1946.

Although California has reformed its election laws to remove control of redistricting from politicians, gerrymandering in the rest of the country means only about 50 House seats are in play in any election, O’Connell said. With the GOP dominating deeply conservative states, primarily in the South, O’Connell calculates that the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016 would have to win in a landslide to pull along enough of the party’s House candidates to reinstall Pelosi as speaker.

Read more from Carolyn Lochhead at The San Francisco Chronicle

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