By the time all is said and done on Tuesday night, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi feels confident that her Democratic Party will once again reclaim the majority in the House of Representatives – and that she should reclaim the speaker's gavel in order to usher her party forward through the Trump administration.
"I know the territory," Pelosi told HuffPost in a new profile. "And I’m really good at what I do." (Previously, she had said if Hillary Clinton had won, "I was happy to go my way.")
Should Democrats take back the House and Pelosi subsequently win the number of votes necessary to reascend the speakership from her colleagues, the path forward for the California Democrat could prove contentious. At 78, many on the left want her to step aside in favor of younger blood and new leadership. She also remains an easy target of the right, who have spent millions of dollars across the nation this election cycle running negative campaign ads against her name.
But the first female speaker of the House, who has spent 31 years in Congress and 17 years in a leadership post, questions why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, 76, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, 67, and do not face similar criticism.
"It is sexist," Pelosi said. "But if there’s misogyny, there’s also a big upside in women. I feel confident about women, and many men, who say, 'My daughter can now do this and that and this because of you.' I don’t spend too much time thinking about it . . . What is important to me in all of this is that women just ignore it."
In true Pelosi form, the congresswoman already has a plan in motion should the Democrats be victorious in the midterms and she return to wielding the gavel. According to HuffPost:
The first bill she wants to pass is a package of anti-corruption and voting rights reforms. She has no interest in impeaching Donald Trump, despite some on her left flank eager to do this on day one. Instead, she plans to push ahead with the policy issues she’s advocated for years. Lower health care costs. Bigger paychecks for the middle class. Protections for the environment.
She also wants committee chairs to begin conducting real oversight of the Trump administration, which Republicans have refused to do for the past two years. If that means issuing subpoenas to administration officials ― something Democrats on the House oversight and government reform committee asked the GOP majority to do 52 times over the last year and a half, only to be denied each time ― so be it.
"We have to be strategic – not scattershot," Pelosi told the outlet. "And it has to be for the purpose of getting the truth as to how they are conducting their agencies."
But the top-ranking Democrat has not just been sitting back with her fingers crossed, hoping to take back the House and for a smooth re-election. Pelosi has been quietly courting Democratic candidates by sending donors their way and making an appearance at private fundraisers for House candidates, according to Politico.
"The minority leader has raised $6.7 million for 'Red to Blue' candidates trying to oust GOP incumbents. She’s set up phone-banking and texting operations for one California House candidate who hasn’t clarified a position on her to lead the caucus," Politico reported. "And she’s sent more than 30 of her staffers out to toss-up districts — including places where candidates have distanced themselves from Pelosi on the trail."
The outlet determined that Pelosi's opposition to becoming speaker is much smaller than it may seem.
While there has been a late surge of optimism that Democrats will take back the House based on polling, no one wants a repeat of the unpredictable 2016 election. It would seems best to keep the champagne bottles in the back until there is a clear outcome. That is not stopping Pelosi, though, who is already looking ahead.
"I have my own public sentiment, and I feel very confident about the following that I have in the country," she told the New York Times. "And, if the Republicans want to spend $100 million criticizing me – demonizing me – I must be pretty important."