Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling fellow Democrats as she weighs whether to stay in leadership and run for minority leader after losing control of the House Tuesday night, according to two senior Democratic aides and one lawmaker.
Pelosi has made some of these contacts herself but has had surrogates reach out to other Democrats to test her support level within the caucus.
The members making calls on Pelosi’s behalf include some of her closest friends and allies in the House – Reps. George Miller (Calif.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Robert Brady (Pa.), among others, said House insiders.
Pelosi is working her way through most, if not all, the Democratic Caucus, said these sources.
The 70-year-old Pelosi is not directly asking to stay on as Democratic leader at this point. Rather, she is seeking their feedback on what the leadership should look like in the next Congress, although the implied message is whether they would oppose her remaining as minority leader.
For members of her inner circle, the calls suggest that she may not be ready “to turn the keys over” while she’s gauging the more general feelings of Democrats outside her tightest clutch of backers, according to one of the aides.
A Democrat who spoke to Pelosi today said she is “just trying to figure out the mood of the caucus.” This member told her “to do what she wants, I support you.”
But the Democratic lawmaker also pointed out that Pelosi told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer on Wednesday that she would be “talking to my members …” and would announce her decision when she finishes that process.
“I’ve gotten a positive response, but I haven’t gone to a place where I’ve made a decision about that,” Pelosi told the Huffington Post on Thursday. “Only today have I even looked at messages or anything that relate to me from…members, friends, progressives, whether that’s collectively in organizations or as individuals. And of course the ones you will hear from are the ones who want you to run.”