With control of the House of Representatives in hand, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday she expects to have full support when she runs for House speaker during upcoming leadership elections.
Pelosi first announced her intention to seek the speaker’s gavel in May, but the biggest test of that was always going to be Election Day — whether Democrats would win back the House, and by how many seats.
Though some races still haven’t been decided, the picture is clearer now, the day after Election Day. House Democrats needed to win 24 seats, and so far they’ve gotten 26, with a few more pickup opportunities potentially coming.
It’s not the giant wave Democrats were hoping for, but it’s a crucial win. Pelosi broke her own fundraising records to get them there, and she believes it will drive her to win the speaker’s race.
When MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked Pelosi whether she was “confident” she would be the next speaker of the House, Pelosi responded simply, “Yes, I am.”
Pelosi also added she is the “best person” for the job, speaking to her past experience shepherding in major pieces of legislation like the Affordable Care Act, federal stimulus package, and the Dodd-Frank Act.
Pelosi nodded to President Donald Trump’s earlier remarks on Wednesday when he said Pelosi “deserved” to be speaker because she had led her party to a win on Election Day.
But as the House Democratic leader clarified, she sees it differently than Trump.
“I don’t think anybody deserves anything,” she said. “It’s about what you have done, it’s about what you can do. What you have done in the past speaks to your credentials, but it’s about what you can do, and I think I’m the best person to go forward — to unify, to negotiate.”
She will continue to make her case to House Democrats, some of whom have expressed doubt about her continuing to lead, in the coming weeks.