‘There’s life out there, right?’

WASHINGTON (AP) – Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the attack on her husband, Paul, by an intruder in their family home made her consider staying on as the Democratic leader of the House because she “couldn’t give them that satisfaction” intimidate her. of politics.

But Pelosi said Thursday she was ready to step aside and felt “fair” about her decision to make way for a new generation of leaders.

She is staying on as congresswoman in San Francisco but has no plans to endorse a successor or challenge the new leaders.

“I have no intention of being the mother-in-law in the kitchen saying, ‘My son doesn’t like that stuffing,'” Pelosi said in a wide-ranging interview with reporters at the Capitol.

“They will have the vision, they will have their plan.”

As for the future direction of House Democrats, she said: “That’s up to them, I want it to be what they want it to be.”

Pelosi, who is 82, spoke to reporters in the “Board of Education” Room, a historic space once frequented by congressmen after hours after her decision to step down after 20 years as party leader. Her action followed the midterm elections that gave Republicans control of the House.

First elected in 1987, when there were only 12 Democratic women in Congress, Pelosi said she chose to wear white to deliver her speech on the House floor Thursday as a nod to the suffragettes – noting a painting of the women with it her 19th Amendment. installed in the gilded meeting room next to one of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridges.

Digging into a package of cookies – chocolate chip, of course – the speaker wouldn’t say exactly when she made her decision to step aside.

She keeps a firm grip on her most important decisions, and even now that it’s gone, she said how she finally came to her choice was something she could have thought more about. on him. It was known that she took two versions of her speech home with her on Wednesday night for review.

“I, honestly, personally, am ready to leave for a while,” she said. “Because there are things I want to do. I like to dance, I like to sing. There’s life out there, right?”

Pelosi said, after 20 years, “I don’t feel sad about not having a leadership position. … I feel fair about it.”

She has said that the attack on Paul Pelosi, who suffered a fractured skull when an intruder broke into their home weeks before the election while she was looking for her, had influenced her decision. But she said on Thursday that it had the “opposite effect” from what some had suggested.

“It made me think again about staying,” she said. “I couldn’t give them that satisfaction.”

Had Democrats been able to maintain majority control of the House, she indicated that a different outcome might have emerged: “I would pray for it.”

Pelosi has insisted she has a lot to do to represent her California district, but said she is unlikely to take on any committee assignments that are typically sought after by other lawmakers — especially a seat on the Appropriations Committee that handles federal funding bills that are important to states.

And she plans to get to work reviewing the 2022 election results and preparing for the next big vote in 2024.

Long seen as a powerful figure, one who controls and even micromanages many aspects of House leadership — from the way bills are written to the timing of votes to the running of congressional campaigns — she said she doesn’t expect lead any role to lead the next. a generation of leaders.

“They have to bring their own fresh perspective, thinking entrepreneurially,” she said.

She won’t be endorsing a successor before party elections at the end of the month — “I didn’t think that was the right approach, to anoint someone,” she said. She said it is “extremely important that people they choose” have the legitimacy of their peers.

Her advice to those who follow her lead: “Be yourself.”

As for upcoming political battles, she questioned whether Republican Kevin McCarthy, a Californian, would have the support needed to become speaker.

And she said she takes “no responsibility” for the political divisions in Congress, blaming Republican extremism: “They don’t believe in governance.”

Although Pelosi expressed some regret that Democrats were unable to make permanent an expanded child tax credit or paid family medical leave as they considered at the start of Joe Biden’s presidency, she believes her party will have some leverage in the new Congress because the House. a narrow Republican majority.

“Other people have to do work,” she said.

Pelosi said her husband of nearly 60 years continues to recover from the attack – the intruder hit him in the head with a hammer – but the road ahead is long.

It is essential to sit still, not too many people – limit visits with the children and grandchildren – and avoid recurring memories of the attack, she explained.

“It’s very difficult,” she said, admitting there was “survivor’s guilt” since she was the target of the attack and her home was a “crime scene”.

But the longtime Republican leader, a libertarian from San Francisco, announced that she was not going to do what she does most in California on work days: “I’m going to have a very nutritious hot dog for lunch now .”

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