5 Plausible Reasons Speaker Pelosi is Not Retiring – and One Machiavellian Suggestion

by on January 31, 2022 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Colleen O’Connor

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, first woman to head a major party in Congress and first woman ever elected Speaker, not once, but twice, has filed for re-election.

Many consulted the tea leaves and believed Pelosi would “retire” after she pledged just “two more terms as Speaker” in 2018.  Those two terms are up this year. Not retiring, but perhaps giving up the Speakership?

So, why run again?  Just to hang on to power in a year the Democrats are widely predicted to lose “bigly?”

Doubtful.

Here are the five most logical and daring reasons she is seeking re-election.

1.      Why not? She is a shoe-in from her liberal San Francisco district.  No need to even campaign.

2.      To avoid the “lame duck” label if she were to announce her “retirement,” which would also clip her legendary fundraising prowess.

3.      Because she promised “to stay in office as long as Donald Trump is around.”  Trump may no longer be president, but he is surely trying to “stick around.”  So, a promise kept?

4.      Or her commitment to women; either via the Equal Rights Amendment’s final passage; to protect the seriously endangered “Roe v. Wade” abortion rights for women; and/or swift passage of the Women’s Health Care Act.  All sufficient enough reasons to keep her at her desk.

5.      Yet, the most likely reason, and one that will come into play only if and after Pelosi wins in 2022, is someone closest to her heart; her daughter, Christine.

The scenario?  Pelosi runs.  Wins.  Gets sworn in in 2023.  And retires before her 2-year term ends.  California law requires a special election.  Voter turnout is unpredictable with all-mail ballots, but it is certain that the name (and the legacy of her mother) almost guarantees a win. The Pelosi legacy continues.

Next best bet.  A daring long shot, but one that carries revenge to an art form and would make Machiavelli proud.

Pelosi wins re-election to her congressional seat, but the Republicans win the majority of the House.  Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy must garner not just the majority of his own caucus to be put forth as a candidate for Speaker, but also win the majority of the 435 House members.

Enter Rep. Liz Cheney.  Bane of Trump and McCarthy, but heroine of the January 6th committee, champion of democracy, and a probable leader of the anti-McCarthy wing of the party.

Is it possible that Democrats could cross the aisle en masse and provide enough votes for Cheney to become the new Republican Minority leader or even Speaker?

How so?

Perhaps, come floor vote time, the GOP caucus (pro and anti-Trump factions) remain split.  Then House traditions and rules are scrambled.

Remember:

Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution reads: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings.” Just because the GOP caucus picks McCarthy does not guarantee him the majority votes from 435 House members.

For example:

“On January 5, 2011, 18 Democrats, frustrated with Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, (and a massive loss of Democratic seats) voted for other candidates while an additional Democrat simply answered “present.”

The following Congress, the 113th, both parties had dissenters. Eight Republicans voted for different candidates, as did five Democrats; an additional Republican answered “present” (which does not count as a vote, but does count for quorum.”)

Since then, new rules apply; should the Democrats (against the odds) win the majority in 2022. Pelosi agreed to serve no more than four more years as the House Democratic leader. Her limit is up.

Yet, under the new terms of the agreement, Democratic leaders could serve another term if they secure support from two-thirds of the Democratic caucus.

(https://thehill.com/homenews/house/423724-the-15-democrats-who-voted-against-pelosi)

So, the reasons for Pelosi’s 2022 re-election bid are several; to avoid any “lame duck” status; to engineer a special election for her daughter’s candidacy; to finally vanquish Trump; or to become the avenging angel for women.

Yes, the most Machiavellian plot, to simply deprive Trumpian ally, McCarthy, of the Speakership and reward Liz Cheney for her January 6th “profile in courage.”

Or something else, all together!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas January 31, 2022 at 4:47 pm

Probably all of the above.

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retired botanist January 31, 2022 at 6:12 pm

Very interesting, in depth, POV. In spite of her accomplishments, and advocacy for women, I think its time to pass on the baton. And not to her daughter, whoever she is (mea culpa for not having researched ahead, but just out of friggin’ principle!… geez, can we get beyond the nepotism and enclave inheritance?!) Yes, she’s been very adept at aggregating data, she has stood the Party pretty well, among other accolades, but like Ginsburg, and Breyer, and Thomas and countless others who should have retired some time ago, she does such a disservice to our much needed new voices. If there is nothing else to be learned with old age, its have the wisdom to understand when the reigns need to be passed on, whether you like it or not!

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Frances O'Neill Zimmermsn January 31, 2022 at 8:18 pm

I’m glad Nancy Pelosi is running and I doubt she would cede her seat to her daughter. But if she could, I don’t doubt that she might work to engineer Liz Cheney as the next GOP Speaker of the House just to thwart Kevin McCarthy’s dreams of glory.
But that all sounds fsr-fetched. What is real is her genius at counting votes, knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em and how to be a shoo-in (not shoe-in) for re-election from her San Francisco district. Whether she’s in the majority or the minority, she’s a brilliant legislator and we need more like her.

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Tyler February 1, 2022 at 6:21 am

Dems will keep shooting themselves in the foot by keeping non-elected power with Octogenarians. I have so much respect for Nancy, but younger blood is needed badly as evidenced by polling and sentiment. Schumer needs to step down too from Maj leader. Not going to happen of course but I sure wish it would, along with Feinstein retiring.

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