During a congratulatory call after the election results began rolling in, Biden pleaded with the likely outgoing speaker to continue leading House Democrats for the remaining two years he has in his term, but Pelosi was noncommittal.
“I hope you stick,” Biden told Pelosi before she interjected to explain that there was a range of personal factors she had to mull over, Politico reported. “I know it’s family first, but I hope you stick,” Biden reportedly continued, with Pelosi again dodging a commitment to any plans.
After the 2018 midterm cycle, Pelosi cut a deal with disgruntled members of her caucus ranks not to pursue the top perch in four years. With that deadline reached, Pelosi, 82, has been coy about whether she will stay true to that agreement.
The agreement came at a time when Democrats were reeling from massive political losses in 2016, during which Republicans used her as a bogeyman of sorts. Progressive firebrands in the caucus have been demanding change, with hopes to recalibrate the party.
Pelosi’s standing within her caucus now appears to have been bolstered following a strong midterm showing in the face of considerable headwinds where Republicans were expected to sweep the House and have a chance at overtaking the Senate.
Pelosi’s indecisiveness has effectively frozen internal Democratic leadership contests, with heavyweight representatives waiting for her decision with bated breath. Her friends describe her as truly undecided in the matter, per Politico.
“A great deal is at stake because we will be in a Presidential election,” she told CNN over the weekend. “So, my decision will then be rooted in what — the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus. But none of it will be very much considered until we see what the outcome of all of this is.”
House Democrats are slated to hold their leadership deliberations on Nov. 30. Given that the Republicans recently accrued 217 House seats and appear to be on track for 218, she is unlikely to serve as speaker. Instead, she would likely be the minority leader if she chose to lead the House Democrats, as she did for nearly 20 years.
“He believes she’s the best Speaker ever,” a Biden adviser said, according to Politico.
Another factor looming over her decision was the recent attack on her husband last month in which an assailant broke into her home and struck Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer, which required him to undergo surgery. Biden purportedly asked about Pelosi’s recovery during the call.
Nancy Pelosi has returned praise on Biden, prodding him to run for a second term as president in 2024 and touting his achievements in office. Biden has expressed his “intention” to run for a second term while maintaining that a decision has not been made.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has teased a “very big” announcement from Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night, which is widely expected to be his 2024 presidential debut.