House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is keeping her foot on the gas pedal as Election Day approaches.
The California Democrat is scheduled to attend 65 fundraising and campaign events scheduled in eight states and Washington, D.C., in the fewer-than-four weeks remaining before Nov. 6, her office said.
This coming week, she will be traveling to Florida, California and Virginia.
In September, Pelosi attended 77 fundraising and campaign events in five states and Washington, D.C. Her fundraising numbers for September have not yet been announced.
Overall in 2012, Pelosi has done more than 627 fundraising and campaign events, according to her office.
Democrats have pointed to Pelosi’s vigorous travel schedule — her aides said they were forced to switch to tennis shoes at the Democratic National Convention to keep up with her — as evidence she is set on returning as the top Democrat in the next Congress.
Many Democrats have speculated whether Pelosi might leave Congress after the elections.
While the California lawmaker’s intentions are essentially unknowable — her top aides had no idea she would stay on in the wake of Republicans winning the House in 2010, when it was widely expected she would step down — people who know Pelosi well say it is unlikely she would opt for a quick exit.
Regardless, many Democratic Members say Pelosi’s fundraising prowess is of vital importance, as evidenced by her travel schedule.
“There’s no one who works harder than Nancy Pelosi, and there’s no one who raises more money than she does,” retiring Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.) said recently.
“In light of the super PACs, she’s the finger in the dike, financially. She raises megadollars and no one else does,” another Democratic lawmaker said.
Chatter about Pelosi’s possible retirement was energized in December when her daughter Alexandra Pelosi told reporter Jeffrey Scott Shapiro that her mother wanted to leave Congress.
“She would retire right now, if the donors she has didn’t want her to stay so badly,” Alexandra Pelosi said. “She has very few days left. She’s 71, she wants to have a life, she’s done.”
Pelosi’s office fought furiously to tamp down the report, and Alexandra Pelosi told reporters she was “merely projecting my own personal opinions.”
But neither denied she had made the remarks, and the interview shocked Congressional Democrats, some of whom said they consider it a critical piece of evidence of Pelosi’s thinking.
Most surprising, perhaps, was the outlet that reported the news: a website edited by the late Andrew Breitbart, a conservative pundit not known for his access to top Democrats.
Shapiro said he called Alexandra Pelosi on an unrelated matter and she “just threw it out there” as one of many topics broached, indicating that she knew about the Minority Leader’s intentions from their many conversations as mother and daughter.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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