Depending on how you see it, it's either a lioness of Congress keeping hold of her role representing our city in Washington and continuing to school the youngsters in how to get stuff done, or it's another stubborn and aging politician refusing to cede power to the next generation.
House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she plans to run for re-election in 2024, bucking the widely presumed belief that she would retire now that she has stepped down from House leadership.
"Now more than ever our City needs us to advance San Francisco values and further our recovery. Our country needs America to show the world that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for ALL. That is why I am running for reelection," Pelosi wrote on X/Twitter — adding, "and [I] respectfully ask for your vote."
Pelosi, 83, had a press event Friday morning in San Francisco in the company of labor leaders, and made the announcement live there as well.
As the Associated Press reports, she said she was running in part to help Democrats win back their majority in the House.
"The announcement quells any talk of retirement for the long-serving leader who, with the honorific title of speaker emeritus, remains an influential leader, pivotal party figure and vast fundraiser for Democrats," writes the AP.
Per the New York Times, "people close to her said that she ultimately decided to run again because she viewed it as an urgent priority to re-elect President Biden and help Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the minority leader, become the next House speaker."
Many are going to be quick to argue that Pelosi's retirement might help Democrats more in 2024, given how long she has served in the house (36 years), and how that tenure and her association with progressive San Francisco have made her a popular villain on the right. The name "Pelosi" is basically spat by right-wing pundits as a stand-in for all things "evil Democrat," and she is not much loved among far-left progressives either — even though she may remain a hero and icon for establishment Democrats.
Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House in 2007, and she regained that position in 2019, ushering through the Affordable Care Act and leading the House through its two impeachments of Donald Trump, among many other accomplishments.
Pelosi was, infamously, one of the main targets of insurrectionists on January 6th, some of whom stormed her office and vandalized it and vocally intended to do her harm. That vitriol spilled over into the attack on her husband, Paul Pelosi, last fall, here in San Francisco — with suspect David DePape having told investigators he was looking for Nancy, who was out of town at the time. His goal, he said, was "fighting tyranny" and exposing "lies."
There have been rumblings for months, since Pelosi stepped down as the lead Democrat in the House last fall, about who her potential successor would be in SF's main congressional seat. Pelosi's daughter, Christine Pelosi, has been widely seen as a possible candidate, and state Senator Scott Wiener is likely to be angling for the seat as well. Both will now have to wait at least another two years.
Top image: Nancy Pelosi, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives attends the 49th Edition Of 'Cernobbio Forum' Hosted By The European House-Ambrosetti on September 01, 2023 in Cernobbio, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)