The longtime lawmaker vehemently shut down rumors, however quiet, that she's prepared to pass Democratic rule to a younger generation in an Associated Press interview published Thursday. And she wants everyone to stop making a "big fuss" over growing opposition to her leadership.
Pelosi has long been a target of President Trump's insults, including his recent tweeted video insinuating she doesn't care about stopping the Islamic State. But Pelosi "can take the heat and that's why I stay in the kitchen," she told AP. As for Republicans who are trying to push her out, well, she said she's "just not going to let them do that."
Then again, there are Democrats trying to do the same. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking Democrat in the House, recently told The New York Times that he'd run for speaker if his party wins the lower chamber and Pelosi appears vulnerable. The 78-year-old Clyburn would be the House's first black speaker, but many Democrats are still looking for someone younger. That might be 45-year-old Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who earned support from one-third of House Democrats in a private caucus vote two years ago.
Pelosi waved away those challengers, telling AP she has a following "that's unsurpassed by anybody, unless they're running for president."
Of course, the question still remains if Pelosi — and Democrats as a whole — will even get to lead the House next year. A recent wave of narrow Republican victories in generally far-right districts could reflect a country that's fed up with the president, signaling potential for a Democratic triumph come fall, but the real results remain to be seen. Read more about the building blue wave here at The Week. Kathryn Krawczyk