In a private meeting with fellow Democrats, including newly elected members of the House, Nancy Pelosi announced to a round of applause and chants of “two more years” that she will remain the party’s minority leader.
Pelosi held her decision tightly until she made the announcement to her caucus, but word leaked to reporters the moment she broke the news internally. The year 2013 will mark her 10th year as the top Democrat in Congress, four of which she spent as the first female speaker of the House.
“I have made a decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as the Democratic leader,” she told reporters at a press availability Wednesday morning.
Pelosi is one of the Democrats’ most effective fundraisers and has proven to be one of the party’s most effective legislative leaders in history. As the most powerful liberal in politics, she’s also an emissary to progressive activists.
But that’s made her a lightning rod for conservative criticism across the country, and Republicans have used her low approval ratings to wedge rank and file Democrats away from party leadership.
Pelosi will face no competition for the top post. The only question was whether she wanted to continue in to serve in the role at the age of 72 and without a majority of Democrats in the chamber. Democrats picked up some seats in the 2012 elections, but fewer than they had hoped for and not nearly enough to wrest back control of the chamber that they lost in the 2010 shellacking.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.