Politics: Nancy Pelosi on her future: Still in the House, but staying out of the congressional kitchen

Youngkin sends Pelosi a handwritten apology note for his remarks after her husband's attack

  Youngkin sends Pelosi a handwritten apology note for his remarks after her husband's attack Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin sent a handwritten apology note to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over remarks he made after her husband was attacked.“My full intention on my comments was to categorically state that violence and the kind of violence that was perpetrated against Speaker Pelosi’s husband is not just unacceptable, it’s atrocious. And I didn’t do a great job with that," Youngkin said in a statement provided to USA TODAY.

Nancy Pelosi will still be in Congress for another term, representing her San Francisco congressional district, but she says the new generation that will succeed her in the leadership of House Democrats doesn't need to worry about her meddling in their business.

"Thanksgiving's coming," she replied when asked what advice she would be giving her successor. "I have no intention of being a mother-in-law in the kitchen saying, 'My son doesn't like stuffing that way; this is the way we make it in our family.'

"They will have their vision; they will have their plan."

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Pelosi sat down to talk with a small group of reporters Thursday moments after standing in the well of the House and announcing that, after two decades in the leadership, she would not be running for that role when the Democratic caucus convenes Nov. 30.

She had declared the end of an era, of the time when the first woman elected speaker of the House became arguably the most disciplined, most consequential legislative leader in modern times.

But she was breezy and animated when she entered the ornate hideaway off the House floor known as the Board of Education, a name from the days it was the site of after-hours poker games convened by Speaker Sam Rayburn with Vice President Harry Truman and others.

"I just came for the chocolate chip cookies," she proclaimed, plucking a treat from the plate on the table but then struggling so mightily with the sealed plastic wrapping that Carl Hulse of The New York Times finally wrestled it open for her.

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How was she feeling?

Pelosi isn't a woman given to introspection, at least not in public. "I feel balanced about it all," she said finally. "I'm not sad at all." There were some things she wouldn't miss, she added. "I mean, I had to raise a million dollars a day. A day! Well, at least five days a week."

More: Nancy Pelosi's legacy: 'A troublemaker with a gavel' leaves her mark, from health care to impeachment

Later, her office released her precise campaign fundraising statistics: She raised $310 million during the 2022 election cycle, giving her a jaw-dropping total of $1.28 billion raised since joining the leadership in 2002.

Pelosi had promised four years ago to leave the leadership after this term, but there had been a flurry of speculation about whether she would actually do it. Her phone had "exploded" with pleas from House Democrats for her to stay, she said; Politico reported that President Joe Biden had urged her to "stick with it," too.

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If Democrats had managed to hold the House majority, she might have considered trying to stay at the top. "I would've had to pray over that," she said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi greets Democratic Party members on the floor of the House of Representatives after announcing she will step down from her leadership role when the Republicans claim a majority in the House in the next congressional term, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. © Josh Morgan, USA TODAY House Speaker Nancy Pelosi greets Democratic Party members on the floor of the House of Representatives after announcing she will step down from her leadership role when the Republicans claim a majority in the House in the next congressional term, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Paul Pelosi attack strengthened her resolve to stay in Congress

But it was the brutal assault on her husband, Paul, at their San Francisco home that made her more open to the idea of remaining in the House even as she stepped back from the leadership. His long, hard recovery is continuing, she said.

"If anything, it made me think again about staying," she said. She rejected assumptions by some that the attack would make her feel compelled to go home to California. "It was not something, 'Oh, well, since they did that, I can't even think of something else.' No, it had the opposite effect. I couldn't give them that satisfaction."

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She flared when asked if she could have done something more during her career to ameliorate the toxic partisanship that now marks much of national politics.

More: What will a Republican House look like? A lot of investigations and maybe impeachment.

"I won't take any responsibility for what the Republicans have done to the Congress," she said calling the GOP "anti-science" and "anti-governance." "What would I have done different? Won more elections and not given them the power to do what they did. Make sure that a creature like Donald Trump never became president of the United States."

In her new role, she said she won't serve on House committees, and she declined to endorse a candidate to succeed her. New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is rated the favorite in that race.

That doesn't mean she's getting ready to disappear. "For me, resting is for other people," she said. "I am getting ready for the next election." That is, for 2024.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nancy Pelosi on her future: Still in the House, but staying out of the congressional kitchen

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan says there's no one 'better suited' to lead House Republicans than Kevin McCarthy: 'He's been good for conservatives' .
McCarthy has hit a bumpy path in rounding up the requisite votes to become speaker, with some Freedom Caucus members balking at supporting his bid.McCarthy, who is poised to become speaker in January in a House with a razor-thin GOP majority, is working to round up the requisite votes needed to run the lower chamber, but has hit stumbling blocks with several Freedom Caucus members, including Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida, vowing not to support him.

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