It’s not a secret at this point that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), 81, faces insurmountable odds in the 2022 midterms, and is likely on her way out sooner than later.
But according to The Washington Times, House Democrats are thinking well ahead of that inevitability, with the younger, more progressive side of the Dem Party already eyeing up potential leaders that could step in and fill her role, whether that be as the Speaker of the House or the House Minority Leader.
The Times reported that an unnamed Democratic aide revealed that while they’re unsure of what Pelosi’s next move will be — retirement or attempting another run — there’s already “excitement” in the Democratic Caucus with regard to the possibility of fresh, young Dems taking the reins.
“I’ve heard that Pelosi may not run again, or might not be speaker again. I think it’s probably pretty speculative right now, but [there’s] excitement about a lot of different members,” the unnamed inside source reportedly said.
Some of the candidates who are being discussed as possible replacements to lead the Democratic Party in the lower chamber include, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, 51, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, 56, and California Reps. Peter Aguilar, 42, and Adam B. Schiff, 61.
As The Times noted, Capitol Hill insiders appear to be most excited about the possibility of Jeffries taking the Democratic leadership reins, which, if Dems somehow managed to hold onto majority control, would be the first Black House speaker.
“Even though we sometimes have strong views on different topics as received between the progressives and the moderates, it’s a testament to his ability to read and continue to move the party forward by passing things,” said Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) of his colleague, Jeffries.
A senior House staffer said of Jeffries: “He sort of bridges a divide. The younger members feel like he’s one of them. The older ones think they sort of raised him. Moderates don’t think he’s too progressive and progressives don’t think he’s too moderate.”
Only time will tell what happens next year, but Dems should probably rein in their excitement, as Republicans are widely expected to win dozens of seats in 2022, which would shoot down any possibility of a Democrat landing the speakership.