Octogenarian Nancy Pelosi announces that she will seek re-election amid the debate on gerontocracy in the United States | International

Octogenarian Nancy Pelosi announces that she will seek re election amid
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Democrat Nancy Pelosi announced this Friday that she will seek re-election in 2024.J. Scott Applewhite (AP)

Nancy Pelosi has plucked the daisy. The congresswoman, one of the most powerful women in Washington, has given keys this Friday about her future. She will seek re-election in the 2024 elections. The octogenarian became speaker emerita after handing over Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives. She will now try to extend her time in the Capitol, a trajectory that she began in 1987 with her arrival in a room where there were only 23 women out of 435 representatives (today there are 125). Her decision coincides with a national debate in the United States about the gerontocracy installed at the top of power.

“Now more than ever, our city needs you to represent San Francisco's values ​​and move the recovery forward. “Our country needs to show the rest of the world that our flag is still there, with freedom and justice for all,” the 83-year-old congresswoman wrote on the social network X, formerly Twitter. Pelosi announced her decision this Friday morning at a working breakfast in San Francisco. The message ends speculation about her future, which began when she handed over the baton to Hakeem Jeffries last fall.

Pelosi was elected in 2002 as the leader of the Democratic minority, during the Government of George W. Bush. Five years later, she became the first woman to hold the position of speakerthe president of the lower house. This made her the third most powerful in Washington, a position that she was able to endorse once again in 2019 and that she had to surrender last year, when the Republicans took over the House of Representatives by the minimum and was replaced by the also Californian Kevin McCarthy.

It is unusual for a congressman who held the position of speaker to remain in Washington after handing over the leadership of his caucus. The last among Democrats to do so was Sam Rayburn, who held the position for 17 years on three separate occasions between 1940 and 1961. However, nothing is common in Pelosi's political career. The legislator said goodbye to her prominent role with a very high profile. She made international waves with her personal style by announcing a tour of Taiwan that further strained the Joe Biden Administration's relations with Beijing.

Now, however, Pelosi has been forced to calibrate her approach at the local level. In January 2023 she became the representative of San Francisco's 11th District, a position she will hold until January 2025, when she will near her 85th birthday.

The silence that Pelosi had maintained since last fall had launched a disputed race to win a coveted legislative position held for 36 years. Several Democratic politicians began to raise money to launch the generational renewal campaign. Some of these rivals have made a caravan today after Pelosi's announcement. "The speaker emerita is one of the most talented and transformative leaders of our time, it is good news for San Francisco and the country that she continues to serve our community,” said local senator Scott Wiener, a 53-year-old progressive who had accelerated to collect donations with the goal set in 2024.

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Despite her age, Pelosi has been sweeping her rivals in the primaries for decades. In recent Democratic internal elections, the legislator has obtained over 70% of the vote. Much of her strength is in her ability to raise money. During the last election cycle, the congresswoman raised $25 million, according to Open Secrets, a non-governmental organization for transparency in politicians' finances. She was backed by law firms, Alphabet (Google), the University of California, among others. She also received more than five million personal donations issued by retirees.

Pelosi is a passionate advocate for Washington's oldest politicians. The United States has been in a national debate for months about the age of Biden and Trump heading into the 2024 elections and whether it is necessary to establish limits on the trajectories of candidates for public office. The controversy has gained strength this summer after Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, was frozen in a lapse, his second.

The congresswoman has come to this discussion with her sword drawn. She has attacked as sexist critics of Senator Dianne Feinstein, her close childhood friend who, at 90, has caused rivers of ink in Washington over her mental and physical deterioration. Faced with pressure, Feinstein, who she has been on Capitol Hill since 1992, reported that she will leave the Senate in 2024.

Since leaving the Democratic leadership, Pelosi has also stayed on without front-line duties on legislative committees. His role has since been a kind of diplomatic figure that weaves support for his party and fills the coffers. It is estimated that since he arrived in the US capital, he has raised 700 million dollars for his organization. At this Friday's meeting in San Francisco, Pelosi gave clues to the keys that keep her entrenched in power. “I know Congress very well, and I know the country very well. And most importantly, I know this city well. "It is because of everything that is at stake that some people have called me to say: Can you stay a little longer?" said the congresswoman. Voters will have their answer in just over a year.

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