San Francisco politicians are quietly making plans for the departure of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is widely expected to retire should Democrats lose their majority in the upcoming midterm elections, according to reports.
Pelosi has represented San Francisco in the US House of Representatives for 35 years, and her retirement would open up the seat to a newcomer for what could be a lifetime in the deep blue district, pundits said.
A looming Democratic primary could likely become one of the most hyped and expensive in the country, experts said.
“When someone runs in New York City or California, 14 newspapers cover it breathlessly,” Ryan Adams, a city-based progressive political consultant told The Post. “The attention economy on races to replace people in New York and California in big media market states, it spirals out of control.”
Among the potential earlier contenders for the job is state Sen. Scott Wiener, a progressive who has become a minor Twitter star for his battles with high profile conservatives. Wiener himself has been careful to avoid the appearance of open campaigning.
“Nancy Pelosi is so well respected and so well appreciated that no one is looking forward to seeing her leave, and the last thing anybody wants is to be viewed as making even the littlest insult to the speaker,” Todd David, a former political director for Wiener told Politico. “From a pure practical, political point of view, no one wants to offend Nancy Pelosi.”
Pelosi too would loom over the primary and could try to steer the job to a preferred successor. Her daughter, Christine Pelosi, has also made a name for herself as a Democratic activist and frequently appearers with her mother as a campaign surrogate, Politico reported.
Both Weiner and Pelosi did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Post.
The 82-year-old Pelosi has been caring for her husband, Paul, also 82, who suffered a fractured skull after authorities say David DePape bludgeoned him with a hammer inside the family’s home on Oct. 28.
The speaker has begun to face calls from even her most ardent supporters, who say it is time to pass the torch.
“Politically, I think we need new faces and younger energy. That goes for a lot of the longtime Democratic politicians. I think people are ready to see something new,” Leo Rivera, real estate photographer told the Los Angeles Times.