Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is tossing her hat into the ring again. On Friday, Sept. 8, she announced she will be running for re-election in 2024 for her San Francisco-area House seat. This comes after resigning as House Speaker and seemingly retiring from high-profile politics, saying then that it was time “for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.” The declaration was made via a short post on X (formerly Twitter):
“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 — and respectfully ask for your vote. -Nancy.”
Pelosi Defends Elderly Leaders
Pelosi, who is 83, will be 86 at the end of her term if she is re-elected, and her decision to re-enter the political arena comes at a time when many are calling for term and age limits to end the “gerontocracy,” or rule by older people. Much attention has been drawn to aging politicians and their abilities to properly handle business. When 90-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was hospitalized after suffering from a case of shingles, she missed numerous meetings, which resulted in delayed votes. Pelosi defended the ailing congresswoman and even accused critics of being sexist.
More recently, the public has expressed concern over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who froze while standing at the podium on at least two occasions. Although doctors said there was no evidence the 81-year-old suffered from a stroke, voters and fellow politicians remain wary.
While praising Feinstein, Pelosi did hint that age should be a factor in seeking office, including the presidency. In a January interview with The New York Times, she said that she didn’t necessarily encourage Joe Biden to follow her lead and retire, but he should take his age into consideration. “Is age a positive thing for him?” she told the outlet. “No,” she said. “I think we have other great candidates when the time comes” to beat former President Donald Trump.
When Pelosi stepped down as ranking Democrat, she also removed her hands from most of the cookie jars. She chose not to be assigned to any committees and instead just focus on her rank-and-file position with San Francisco. As a prominent Washington news outlet wrote:
“Since Sam Rayburn, who became speaker before World War II, no Democratic speaker has returned to life in the rank-and-file and continued to serve more than a year after his or her tenure ended. Instead, Pelosi’s predecessors either retired from Congress at the same time they gave up the gavel or retired outright within months of stepping down as speaker.”
What are the chances of a Pelosi victory in 2024? Since 1987, when she barely won the nomination for her seat in a special election, the California Democrat has had no problem winning re-election every two years since. So far, “Pelosi has faced several challengers to her left in recent primaries but none has ever received even 15 percent of the vote,” explained the outlet.
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