WASHINGTON — Despite steep losses for her party in Tuesday’s elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said on Friday that she would run to remain the leader of the House Democrats, even as some of her colleagues urged her to step down.
In a letter to her caucus, Ms. Pelosi, who engineered the Democratic takeover of the House in 2006 but became a favorite target of Republicans, said that many of the remaining House Democrats had encouraged her to try to stay on as the leader after the new Republican majority replaces her as speaker — an unusual move in light of the rebuke her party received at the polls.
“Based on those discussions, and driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run,” Ms. Pelosi wrote in her letter.
The announcement, made after days of deliberation by the speaker, was intended at least in part to stem a quickening revolt among more moderate and conservative House Democrats who wanted her to step aside. Several lawmakers went public with their opposition in recent days, and many others were expressing reservations privately.
But the party’s loss of 60 seats in the election — many of them held by moderates — has left the remaining Democratic caucus more liberal than before, giving her a good chance of retaining her position if she chooses.
Of course, since her approval ratings are so low, the Republicans are more than "jubilant" over the prospect of Pelosi reprising her role as the face of the Democratic party:
"Given that there are now 60-plus defeated Democrat House members urgently seeking jobs due to Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, we welcome her decision to run for House Minority Leader based on her proven ability to create jobs for Republican lawmakers," said National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) communications director Ken Spain.