Pelosi Stands Firm That She Will Continue as Speaker

Posted October 20, 2010 at 10:23pm

Updated: 12:17 a.m.

Facing growing resistance from moderate House Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a television interview aired Wednesday night that she is planning for a third term as Speaker.

“I have every anticipation that we’ll come together in a similar format as we are now, with me as Speaker of the House,” the California Democrat said in an interview conducted earlier Wednesday with PBS’ Charlie Rose.

A handful of House Democrats have said publicly that they would prefer a more moderate Speaker, and three have ruled out voting for her again if Democrats maintain the majority in the chamber after the midterm elections.

Pelosi described being Speaker as “a great privilege” but said, “Being a Representative from California is the greatest honor.”

She insisted that a GOP takeover is a long shot despite predictions to the contrary, and she noted that Republicans would have to capture 39 additional seats to win control of the House.

“Our members are battle-ready,” she said. “Many of them have won two elections that were very tough elections. … And they know how to win those elections.”

Pelosi refused to entertain a question about what, if any, leadership role she would seek if Democrats lose the majority.

“We’re right in the middle of a playoff. New York, Texas, San Francisco, Philly — would you go up to one of those players, tap him on the shoulder and say, ‘Suppose you lose?'” Pelosi said, referring to the teams participating in the Major League Baseball playoffs.

“We’re in the game,” she added. “We’re in the arena. We’re in the fight. We don’t have any intention of losing. Would you — if you were in a fight, if you were in the ring — say, ‘What if I lose?’ No. No, I intend to win.”

Pelosi insisted that momentum is shifting in Democrats’ favor as Nov. 2 nears. With unemployment hovering close to 10 percent nationally, Pelosi said jobs were eclipsing every other issue this election cycle.

“The main thing is jobs,” she said. “That is really the four-letter word that we use all the time.”

Although she said that Democrats were closing the enthusiasm gap at a national level, she added that Democrats would be able to localize races. “This is not a national election; it is district by district,” she said.