WASHINGTON Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she will run to keep her job as the Democratic leader in the House after a pair of elections that kept the party in the minority there even as Democrats gained seats in the Senate and a second term for President Barack Obama.
Pelosi made the announcement in a private meeting with members of her caucus, saying she’d toss her hat back in the ring if U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., agreed to stay on as head of the party’s campaign committee.
Republicans reacted with derision.
“There is no better person to preside over the most liberal House Democratic caucus in history than the woman who is solely responsible for relegating it to a prolonged minority status,” said Paul Lindsay, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee.“This decision signals that House Democrats have absolutely no interest in regaining the trust and confidence of the American people who took the speaker’s gavel away from Nancy Pelosi in the first place,” he said.
Pelosi, 72, has represented a San Francisco area district in the House includes becoming the first woman in history to serve as speaker. The Tea Party-fueled political wave of 2010 forced the gavel from her hand to Rep. John Boehner, an Ohio Republican.
Holding a news conference Wednesday morning with women members of her caucus, Pelosi said “we’re very, very proud” of how large a role women played in the Nov. 6 election.