House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is watching her party’s lawmakers dwindle heading into the 2022 midterm elections. Some are saying she’s heading for the exit right along with them.
Rumors of Pelosi’s retirement are ramping up after her campaign’s executive director, Jorge Aguilar, announced he was leaving, Breitbart reported. Aguilar has been with Pelosi for nearly a decade suggesting this parting is a sign that her re-election campaign won’t proceed.
LegiStorm, a web-based service that tracks Congressional staff data, has pegged Pelosi’s staff turnover rate in the 90th percentile with Aguilar’s exit. Previously, Pelosi’s staff was considered “relatively stable over the years” until last year which could indicate her move to retirement.
The California Democrat will turn 82 in the spring, and many feel that fact coupled with dismal prospects for the 2022 midterms could have Pelosi riding off into the sunset, according to the New York Post. The House Democrats will lose 16 lawmakers to retirements and departures going into the election.
According to sources for the Post, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) may follow suit if Pelosi leaves. Both have been in Congress a long time, and both are in their eighties.
As for Pelosi’s replacement, many lawmakers have an eye toward House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). At a spry 51-years-old, Jeffries would inject relative youthfulness back into the party.
“I think Hakeem has the temperament, he has the intelligence, I think he has the vision and is the perfect bridge between the older and younger generations,” an unnamed Congressional Black Caucus member told the news outlet. “He is a product of not only Brooklyn, but he — like many, many younger members of Congress — is connected to hip-hop. And I think that he understands what it means to be a coalition builder.”
House Democrats are facing many challenges to retain power, and it’s possible Pelosi will abandon the sinking ship. While getting rid of Pelosi would be a positive change, the radicals in the party would be unrestrained — and that might be worse than the devil you know.