The White House is cautiously weighing in on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to run for Minority Leader in the next Congress, a move that put to rest days of speculation about the California Democrat’s next step after her party took a bruising in Tuesday’s elections.
“The White House does not comment or get involved in leadership elections. But as the president has said before, he appreciates the work of the Speaker and the entire House Democratic leadership team, who have been great partners in moving the country forward. He looks forward to working with them in the years to come,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said Friday.
In the days leading up to Pelosi’s announcement that she is running, some on Capitol Hill privately wondered why President Barack Obama was not playing a role in shaping the next steps for the party. Her decision to run for Minority Leader comes two weeks before she is set to meet with Obama at the White House to discuss plans for the lame-duck session, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 15. Others meeting attendees will include House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.