Pelosi vows: I'll still be Speaker five weeks from now

A safe bet. In fact, I’ll go a step further and bet that she’ll be Speaker for several weeks after that too. And then the new Congress will be seated in January and she’ll hand the gavel to Boehner, and that’ll be that.

Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, whose job as speaker makes her third in line to the presidency, said she would retain that position.

“I fully expect to be speaker of the House five weeks from now,” Pelosi said at a NBC/Universal women’s forum in Manhattan, as reported by the New York Times.

“I have great confidence in my candidates,” she said, “and they’re doing just fine in their districts.”

Not only have Democrats in the Senate written off the House, but so have most voters: 52 percent expect the GOP to win it back, including 50 percent of indies. (Just 28 percent of the latter group believes Democrats will retain control.) The real question at this point isn’t whether Pelosi will be Speaker next year but whether she’ll be forced out of a leadership position altogether if her party gets hammered. She’ll be eager to hold on as minority leader since Democrats will assure themselves that the House is likely to flip back in 2012: Obama will be at the top of the ticket and the economy hopefully will be better, so Pelosi naturally wants to be positioned to retake the gavel. According to Time, though, much depends on how bad this fall’s beating really is. Democrats on the Hill are reportedly whispering that if they lose the House by a dozen seats or more — i.e. a net pick-up of 52 for the GOP — then the caucus will throw Pelosi to the wolves in favor of Hoyer. If it’s much worse than that then even Hoyer may be out and they’ll start from scratch with new faces. So there’s a little extra motivation for you to vote in case you needed any: There’s a slim chance of bringing about a total Democratic meltdown.

Via Think Progress, here’s the next Speaker explaining to Chris Wallace that the public’s not ready to hear “potential solutions” to the entitlements crisis because they don’t understand how big the problem is yet. Is that right? I’m pretty sure there have been news articles here and there over the past few years about the national debt, trillion-dollar deficits, and the scourge of non-discretionary spending.