House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued today that she’s the best pick to be speaker of the House in 2019 because she’s “politically astute” and “I took [Democrats] to the victory in 2006.”
In an August NBC News survey, 51 Democratic candidates for the House, including nine incumbents, have indicated they would not support Pelosi getting the gavel again as speaker. In additional to that, 34 Democrats were noncommittal about backing or dumping Pelosi.
“It’s up to them to make that decision but I feel pretty comfortable where I am … self-promotion is a terrible thing, but clearly somebody has to do it,” Pelosi said today at CNN’s CITIZEN conference in New York. “And I say this to the women.”
She acknowledged that “none of us is indispensable but some of us have something to offer that is appropriate for the time and I think I’m that person.”
“But I say this because I want women to be confident and don’t let anybody minimize what you have to offer,” she added. “But I am a great legislator and one of the reasons I am is because I recognize the contributions of others as committee chairs and all the rest, and how that system works to have the best possible intellectual resources to make the best possible decisions. And to do so whenever possible in a bipartisan way.”
Pelosi, who was speaker of the House from 2007 until the Tea Party wave in 2011, stressed that various races for Dems across the country “have a lot to do with what’s going on in their districts, and how they will represent their district.”
“This is not a national campaign. It is one district at a time. So, I feel very confident about my ability to bring all of that beautiful diversity together,” she added. “We are not a rubber-stamp caucus, and we are not going to be a rubber-stamp Congress… I want for us to bring dignity back to the branch of government that we represent. That when we open that first day it’s going to be about openness, transparency.”
Pelosi insisted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “has given us a gift” heading into the Nov. 6 election by talking about Obamacare repeal again and paring down entitlements to deal with mounting national debt. She compared it to the “gift” President Bush gave Democrats in 2006 when talking about privatizing Social Security on top of “the culture of corruption.”
“If the election were held today, the Democrats would handily win the House,” she declared. “I could only speak in the present tense because you never know in another couple of weeks. But we fully intend to own the factors at work on the ground, not yield one grain of sand in terms of the ground and getting out the vote… it doesn’t matter so much about where people are unless they turn out.”
Pelosi says her confidence comes from the field of Dem candidates: “They’re spectacular and they know their why. They know why they are running; they know what they care about and their subjects to discuss.”
“For Leader McConnell to say we’re going after Medicare and Medicaid, well social security as well and the Affordable Care Act, I don’t know what he was thinking, but I’m glad he was maybe not thinking,” she added.