The Washington Post reports that Nancy Pelosi will definitely return as Speaker of the House after making a deal with her Democratic opponents that would set term limits for top leaders. That deal would be retroactive and would require Pelosi to step down no later than 2022:
Under the accord, Pelosi, 78, will support a three-term limit for the top three House Democratic leaders, with a possible fourth term if Democratic members vote by a two-thirds majority to retain them.
The limit would be retroactive, meaning Pelosi, incoming House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and incoming House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) — all of whom held the same posts from 2007 to 2011 — would be effectively limited to one, maybe two, terms going forward if the policy is adopted.
“I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not,” Pelosi said.
Within minutes of her statement, seven Democratic holdouts announced the would back Pelosi.
The Post whip count indicates there are still up to 16 Democrats who oppose Pelosi but, assuming everyone votes, she can lose up to 17 votes and still become Speaker. The deal to make this happen took place Tuesday not long after her Oval Office showdown with President Trump. There’s some speculation that maybe the image of Pelosi standing up to Trump helped her a bit in those negotiations.
yesterday demonstrated the hollowness of Democratic attempts to depose Pelosi
leadership in Congress is not about the personal image of the leader
it’s about the ability to win fights with other leaders
she’s really, really good at ithttps://t.co/h7iEQSu8Rz
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 12, 2018
This deal will make Pelosi Speaker through the 2020 election. However, to return after that, she’ll need to win that two-thirds vote, which seems less likely. As noted above, she’s already 78-years-old so by the 2020 election, she’ll be 80. At some point, she really does have to give way to a younger generation. I think that point is 2020. My own guess, and that’s all it is, is that Pelosi is hoping Trump loses the 2020 election and then she can claim his defeat as one of her achievements and retire in progressive glory. But for the moment, this deal gives her a two-year victory lap for helping Democrats regain the House.