Skip to main content

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 17, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PST

9:00 am
right now on "andrea mitchell reports," the end of an
9:01 am
era? after leading house democrats for 19 years, speaker nancy pelosi is announcing her future plans on the house floor at any moment now. all indications are, she could remain in congress as a back bencher. even as a back bencher, without being speaker, possibly to help guide the next generation of democrats to counter the new republican majority. kevin mccarthy is the republican frontrunner to be the next speaker but has not lined up the gop's right flank to assure the needed votes for that contest in january. on the senate side, mitch mcconnell has been chosen republican leader, beating back a challenge from senator rick scott. senate democrats are racing to pass an historic same-sex marriage bill in the lame duck session before january. overnight, the first open dispute between ukraine's president zelenskyy and the u.s., disagreeing over the deadly missile that hit poland. president zelenskyy still insisting it did not come from ukraine, but president biden publically disagreeing last
9:02 am
night. >> that's not the evidence. ♪♪ good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington where the balance of power is shifting. speaker nancy pelosi on the podium. you see her gaveling down. the first woman to hold the post of speaker about to say what she's planning to do as republicans win control of the house. cheers. this is an historic day. we will bring it to you live. joining us is ali vitali, ashley parker, susan delpersio and steve israel, who was the chair of the democratic campaign company arm before he left congress. ali, as they convene the house, this is the ceremonial part, the prayer, the pledge. the top three democratic leaders in the house are in their 80s.
9:03 am
this move is significant. we have heard, i believe, from jim clyburn he will stay on as the number three. hoyer has yet to be decided. ali, what is the latest? >> reporter: you can cut the tension in this building with a knife. everyone's eyes are on what speaker pelosi is about to announce. will she stay? will she go? will she stay but take herself out of leadership? we were told by a source familiar that she took home two versions of a speech last night. it's unclear here in the halls of congress, everyone is asking the same question, what will pelosi do? it's clear really only the speaker knows at this point. all eyes and attention on the chamber just down the hall from where i am standing as they begin the process of gaveling into session. in that room, you saw all democrats packed in. pelosi greeted with a standing ovation.
9:04 am
as soon as they makes her decision, it's the mark of a change here in washington. if she decides to stay, it comes against the backdrop of calls for new leadership atop this party. if she decides to take herself out of leadership, then it's the end of 20 years she has had that position. as we see her there gaveling in, i can turn it back over to you to set us in this moment. >> she's going through the morning business. i think that she may be stepping back for a moment. here comes the pledge. as they do the pledge, ashley parker with us, there is one scenario where she would be a back bencher but be amerita, pulling strings, guiding her successor who could be hakeem jeffrey. right? >> that's right. that's one thing they hinted at
9:05 am
could be one of the possibilities. some members have said they still want her influence there. although, you have to realize, there could be challenges. speaker pelosi herself famously said, power is never given, it's taken. so there could be some complications of her sort of giving power to the next generation of leaders while still being there with that knowledge and that know how and that really iron grip. it could work. it could also be problematic. and it's just one of three options we know she's been considering. >> steve israel, there are a lot of things to consider. she was just re-elected last week to her seat. of course, overwhelmingly. if she were to step down completely and leave congress, there's a lot of talk that they had not filled the post of ambassador to italy, which is a very appealing post, of course, to nancy pelosi, given her background and her deep
9:06 am
religious connections to the church to be in vatican city. but at the same time, that would require a special election. and that could take a minimum, a month and a half, two months or more. that would be called by the governor. that would leave a vacancy. that's the least likely option, isn't it? >> let me tell you, let me promise you that every single contingency has been thought out, planned and developed by speaker pelosi, leading to this moment. wherever she goes, it's part of a plan. most people don't realize about nancy pelosi is that she has been thinking about this moment since 2012. i was in the leadership with her for six years. in 2012, i would sit with her in her office. she would look at us and she would say, are you ready to take over? i have nine grandchildren. i'm ready to go.
9:07 am
are you ready? we weren't ready in 2012. i chose not to run. per plans to leave were interrupted by donald trump. she felt the country needed her under this unstable president, interrupted again in 2018 when she was elected speaker. interrupted in 2020 when joe biden won the presidency. this moment has been planned. all of the extenuating circumstances, both past and future, have been very carefully thought out by nancy pelosi. >> susan, one thing that was not, of course, planned is the attack -- hideous attack against her husband, husband of 59 years. a week before the election. shattering the family. he was seriously injured. still is recovering. it will be a long recovery. that was not part of the plan. so that probably had an influence on some undecided
9:08 am
voters concerned about democracy and violence and extremism. certainly, had a profound affect on her. there was also a scenario until he was out of the woods that that could influence her decision. >> i'm sure it has. she is a human being. of course, she worries about her family. now that she's in this stage of her life, she is able to capably handle -- hand over the mantle to somebody else. whether she stays in congress or she doesn't, she will be a tremendous resource for the new leadership in the house, democratic caucus. just one thing i would like to highlight is she's supposed to speak in three minutes. we still don't know her decision. that's just how she's chosen to operate. she keeps things close to the vest, very tight operation. i think that will be critical. as you mentioned, if she does leave, there will be a special election. so she would be able to vote, should she choose to do so, on
9:09 am
the next leadership, which is where everyone will be looking. >> ali vitali, we have heard all these scenarios that there was one report jon meacham had contributed to the speeches. eventually, she was rewriting herself because she knows herself better than anyone, of course. just think of the things, of the moments, the way she counteracted donald trump. she became the single strongest opponent to donald trump when he was president, tearing the speech. let's see if we can pull up some of the incredible pictures, with the state of the union speech, again, often wearing the white suit, symbolic, of course, for the whole women's movement, going back, tearing up the speech at the state of the union. remember that? pointing to the president and walking out. there we have the picture of her
9:10 am
just throwing down the speech. everyone was just shocked by it but also many were cheering the fact that she was simply ripping through the copy of the speech that was such a con controversial speech. that moment in the cabinet room where he was pushing back on their agenda. she just got up. everyone else sat there. she pointed at him. someone took an incredible still photo. one of the pool photographers. she walked out, pointed at him and walked out of a leadership meeting. also the time when they were arguing -- i believe it was arguing over gun laws. they were in the oval office. she took over a photo op and just dominated. just always showing donald trump who was in charge in her own way.
9:11 am
>> reporter: think of the new images we have seen out of the january 6 committee. what pelosi was doing in the critical moments and hours as the capitol was under attack, as rioters were in this very building going through her office, chanting for her, trying to find her. a moment that signifies the increased tensions andhyper scrutiny and security around nancy pelosi. the way in which we watched her speaking with the vice president, mike pence, speaking with members on the hill, leadership in both parties, but also other key members asking for help to be sent here to the capitol. she's a singular figure both here in washington but also throughout american history. yes, she's the first female speaker. but also because of all of the ways that you just mentioned, that she was really one of the key linchpins for the democratic party in the accountability
9:12 am
movement against then president donald trump and during the trump era. the fact that she commands such a presence and power here is evidenced by the fact that chuck schumer just walked behind me to go into the house chamber and be there for this moment when she announces what she's about to do next. i'm glad that you pointed out the white. a pants suit we have seen her wear at these historic inflection points, whether during the state of the union, where she had a moment of tearing up the speech. we have seen her as someone who regularly -- you can hear her in these calls. she commands the attention as she clicks in these heels down these hallways. the way she has everyone's attention always focused on her. she's such a master of knowing where her caucus is. there's always that old adage that pelosi is never going to bring anything to the floor unless she knows where her votes are. the fact that she has had command of this caucus for about 20 years, you have to think about the fact if she were to
9:13 am
step back, it's not just a change in terms of her piece of history as a woman in power in such a male-dominated place, but for many members of the democratic caucus, she is the only hand of leadership they have seen. she has been in this position for so long, helping members through their campaigns, fund-raising. she's a machine at just getting dollars into this democratic apparatus and helping members have what they need so they can rough in rough election battles. all of these things that make her so powerful and so well revered, even feared sometimes among members of her caucus -- you and i know people who will say to us during tough legislative battles, it's really hard when you have pelosi doing the arm twisting, because there's the thing she understands here almost better than anyone else on either side of the aisle, which is leverage. how do you get leverage? how do you bend power to your will? how do you get done the things you need to get done? for pelosi, when you look at her
9:14 am
pushes on equal pay, on lgbtq rights and the affordable care act, the way she guided through pieces of legislation, that are so thorny, that's her legacy here. whether she decides to stay or go, all of that is baked into the cake here on capitol hill. she's why you have every single democrat, every single source lawmaker, people who you and i talk to all the time, everyone just waiting with baited breath what she's going to say. >> joining us also is kristin welker, our chief white house correspondent. it's very clear that president obama gives her full credit that obamacare would not have passed out nancy pelosi. that she has been a legislative strategist. i want to point out, we will return, of course, when her
9:15 am
speech -- when her proceedings begin. what is happening is after the prayer and the pledge, the house go into their one minutes. these are one-minute speeches by members who want to take the floor for one minute on any subject of their own privilege. that's what we are not bringing you. as soon as we get to the critical moments, we will be back on the podium. give us your take on the way she's worked with president biden and presidents past. >> reporter: i think you lay it out so well. she has forged an incredibly close relationship with president biden going back decades to the 1980s when they were young members of congress, when they had to work together on legislation. since they have been in leadership together, they have worked on some huge, massive pieces of legislation. you mentioned the affordable care act under former president obama. remember the auto bailout as well.
9:16 am
now under president biden, a number of key accomplishments that they can point to that they hammered out together, they would say, as a team. everything from covid relief to funding for ukraine as well as the bipartisan infrastructure deal and most recently the inflation reduction act. these are all feathers in their cap, they would argue, and speaks to this long history they have of leadership, of working together to getting things over the finish line. in terms of their personal relationship, look, they share a lot in common. they are parents. they are grandparents. they share their catholic faith. these are all areas in which they find agreement and common ground. but they also are counsel to one another as well. i would anticipate if house speaker nancy pelosi has not already reached out to president biden today, to give him an advance warning of what she's going to say, she will do so at some point today. i did speak with white house
9:17 am
officials. they say they are watching. they will leave this announcement to the speaker. they would not get into any details about what if any conversations the president may or may not have had. they want to leave this moment to her and this announcement to her as we all wait. we will find out exactly what she's going to say. there's no doubt whatever happens here, this is a new moment for this president, for democrats as they prepare for and brace for republicans to take control of the house. of course, this white house is bracing for what that will mean for this president. everything from investigations to the possibility of gridlock when it comes to getting legislation passed. we know leader mccarthy will not write a blank check when it comes to ukraine. will that be a sticking point? this is going to be a new day. this moment, i think, really encapsulates that and marks that as we wait to hear what the speaker has to say. >> we are on the 11th speaker in
9:18 am
line for what we are told potentially 16 one-minute speeches. that's the time check on that. ashley parker, one of the things that was notable to me -- i remember being on the hill. we were on the air live when she took the gavel in 2006 as the first woman speaker. what she did for her swearing in was to call up all the children in the chamber. it was the first day of the congress. people brought their children and grandchildren and other relatives. there she was the first woman speaker surrounded on the podium with the little ones. it was a wonderful sight. symbolic of her commitment to family, to all of those issues that a woman as speaker was going to bring to the podium, because those were the core of her commitment. it was family, working people, classic democratic issues. she's taking the stand now, the podium. let's listen.
9:19 am
>> the heart of american democracy. i will never forget the first time i saw the capitol. it was on a cold january day when i was 6 years old. my father was about to be sworn in for his fifth term in congress, representing our beloved hometown of baltimore. i was riding in the car with my brothers. they were thrilled and jumping up and down and saying to me, nancy, nancy, look, there's the capitol. every time i would say, i don't see any capitol. is it a capital a, b or c? finally, i saw it. a stunning white building with a magnificent dome. i believed then as i believe today, this is the most beautiful building in the world because of what it represents. the capitol is a temple of our democracy, of our constitution,
9:20 am
of our highest ideals. on that day -- [ applause ] on that day, i stood with my father on this floor as he took the sacred oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic. all of us who have served in this house have taken the oath of office. it is the oath that stitches us together in a long and storied heritage. colleagues who served before us are all our colleagues, colleagues like abraham lincoln, daniel webster, shirley chisolm and our beloved john lewis.
9:21 am
personally, it binds me as a colleague to my father, a proud new deal congressman and one of the earliest italian americans to serve in the congress. this is an oath we are duty bound to keep. it links us with the highest aspirations of the ages. in this room, our colleagues across history have abolished slavery, granted women the right to vote, established social security and medicare, offered a hand to the weak, care to the sick, education to the young and hope to the many. indeed, it's here under the gaze of our patriarch, george washington, in the people's house, that we have done the people's work. my colleagues, i stand before you as speaker of the house, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a devout catholic, a proud democrat and a patriotic
9:22 am
american, a citizen of the greatest republic in the history of the world. [ applause ] which president lincoln called the last best hope on earth. indeed, in the words attributed to daniel webster, he said, hold on, my friends, to the constitution of your country and the government established under it. miracles do not cluster. that which has happened but once in 6,000 years cannot be expected to happen often. indeed, american democracy is majestic, but it is fragile. many of us here have witnessed its fragility firsthand in this
9:23 am
chamber. democracy must be forever defended from forces that wish it harm. last week, the american people spoke. their voices were raised in defense of liberty, of the rule of law and of democracy itself. [ applause ] with these elections, the people stood in the breach and repelled the assault on democracy. they rejected violence and insurrection. in doing so, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. [ applause ]
9:24 am
now we owe to the american people our very best to deliver on their faith, to forever reach for the more perfect union, the glorious horizon that our founders promised. the questions before this congress and in this moment are urgent. questions about the ideals that this house is charged by the constitution to preserve and protect. establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosterity. babies born today will live into the next century. our decisions will determine their future for generations to come. we will have disagreements on
9:25 am
policy, we must remain fully committed to our shared fundamental mission, to hold strong to our most treasured democratic ideals, to cherish the spark of divinity and to always put our country first. in their infinite wisdom, our founders gave us their guidance. from the many one. they could not have imagined our large our country would become or how different we would be from one another. but they knew we had to be united as one. we the people, one country, one destiny. it has been with great pride in my 30 years in the house, i have seen this body grow more reflective of our great nation, our beautiful nation. [ applause ]
9:26 am
when i came to the congress in 1987, there were 12 democratic women. now there are over 90. and we want more. [ cheers and applause ] the new members of our democratic caucus will be about 75% women, people of color and lgbtq. we have brought more voices to the decision making table. when i entered leadership in 2002, there were eight of us. today, there are 17 members of the leadership. when i first came to the floor at 6 years old, never would i thought i would go from homemaker to house speaker. in fact, i never -- [ applause ]
9:27 am
in fact, i never intended to run for public office. mommy and daddy taught us it's a noble calling and we have a responsibility to help others. our family, my brother tommy became mayor of baltimore. in my privilege, to play a port in forging extraordinary progress for the american people, i have enjoyed working with three presidents achieving historic investments in clean energy with president george bush -- [ applause ] transforming health care reform with president barack obama. [ applause ]
9:28 am
and forging the future from infrastructure to health care to climate action with president joe biden. [ applause ] now we must move boldly into the future, grounded by the principles that have propelled us this far and open to fresh possibilities for the future. scripture teaches us that for everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. my friends, no matter what title you all have bestowed upon me, speaker, leader, whip, there is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of san
9:29 am
francisco. this i will continue to do as a member of the house, speaking for the people of san francisco, serving the great state of california and defending our constitution. with great confidence in our caucus, i will not seek re-election to democratic leadership in the next congress. for me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the democratic caucus that i so deeply respect. i'm grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility. madam speaker, standing here today i'm endlessly grateful for all of life's blessings, for my democratic colleagues whose courage and commitment with the support of your families have made many of these accomplishments possible. in fact, could not have been done without you. for my dear husband paul, who has been my beloved partner in
9:30 am
life and my pillar of support, thank you. we are all grateful for all the prayers and well wishes as he continues his recovery. thank you so much. [ applause ] for our darling children and our grandchildren, they are the joys
9:31 am
of our lives for whom we are so very, very proud of them and a comfort to us at this time. [ applause ] for my brilliant, dedicated and patriotic staff, under the leadership of terry mccollough, thank you all so much. [ applause ]
9:32 am
again, for those who sent me here, for the people of san francisco for entrusting me with the high honor of being their voice in congress, in this continued work i will strive to honor the call of the patron saint of our city, saint francis. lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. in this house, we begin each day with a prayer and a pledge to the flag. and every day, i am in awe of the majestic miracle that is american democracy. as we participate in a hallmark of our republic, the peaceful, orderly transition from one congress to the next, let us consider the words of president lincoln, spoken during one of america's darkest hours. he called upon us to come together, to swell the chorus of
9:33 am
the union, when touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature. that again is the task at hand. a new day is dawning on the horizon. i look forward, always forward to the unfolding story of our nation, a story of light and love, of patriotism and progress, of many becoming one. and always an unfinished mission to make the dreams of today the reality of tomorrow. thank you all. may god bless you and your families and may god bless -- continue to bless our veterans and the united states of america. thank you all so much. [ cheers and applause ] >> with that standing ovation, from the democrats, i see some republicans sitting there, not sure if any are standing, nancy pelosi announcing her decision
9:34 am
to stay as a member of congress from california, representing san francisco, but not run for leadership in those leadership contests that take place in january. opening the door to a new generation of leadership. ali vitali is there. we see the members coming up, hugging her, congratulating her. senator schumer was there. she's paid tribute to her staff. there are so many there on the floor with her who have spent years and years, even decades with her. ali vitali, tell us about this next generation that she was opening the door to. we have with us ali vitali, kristin welker and steve israel. we are talking most likely about hakeem jeffrey, catherine clark. talk to me about the next lineup, at least right now. >> reporter: you are right about what the next wave of leadership might look like. it's someone like hakeem jeffrey
9:35 am
who is widely talked about as someone who could assume the top spot for democrats. of course, he would be followed in this trio that we are talking about by catherine clark, the current assistant speaker, and pete aguilar, the vice chair of the caucus right now. there's also questions about what happens to the other two that made up the pelosi version of this trio. leader hoyer and whip clyburn. clyburn said he intends to stay in leadership. hoyer, the multiple times that i have seen him and talked with him today, was mum on his own plans. it was clear that everyone, both in the old guard and the new wave that may come in, were waiting to see what pelosi might do. you heard her there -- i was struck by the ways that she singled out what happened on january 6, the way that the oath of office that every member of this body takes, binding them not just to the generations of the past but also to the constitution and to defense of democracy, something that pelosi
9:36 am
unfortunately knows too well what it looks like when that is tested, thankfully bent but not broken. she referenced, of course, the attack on her husband, hearing applause when she said he was doing well and that she appreciated all of the well wishes that they have gotten. i was also struck by the ways that she talked about women throughout history. she herself one of the key women that we will talk about for decades and forever as the first female speaker. but also someone who referenced the fact that when she got into leadership, the ranks have since doubled. i was looking when she joined congress in the late 1980s, there were 23 women serving in the house. that number has grown by five times. now there's 123 women between both parties in this current congress. that line has been a steady straight shot up thankfully. progress slow at getting parody in this body, but not one that hasn't seen progress
9:37 am
nonetheless. pelosi making a nod to all of those as she stood there in that iconic white pantsuit that we have seen her wear. a nod to the suffragettes. i was struck there -- we were talking about this. the important moments legislatively that she led on the battlefield here in congress, talking about passing the affordable care act under barack obama. she was integral to the passage of that legislation. everyone who was involved at the time says it could not have been done without someone like speaker pelosi moving that legislation along. then, of course, the work that she's done over the course of the pandemic, the work that she did on accountability around donald trump during the era of his government. all of this so important to the legacy that she built. you watched there, not many members of the republican party in that room, but among democrats you saw the reverence her caucus has for her.
9:38 am
for many of them, she's been in leadership for almost 20 years. she's really one of the only leaders that many of these rank and file members have known. she's the historic first female speaker. someone so iconic stepping back from leadership but still clearly playing a role here. >> steve israel, as we watch so many of the democratic members, senator schumer was in there as well, paying his respects, hugging and kissing her, i'm thinking also that so many of these people that you see, maxine waters and others, will no longer be chairs because they are going to be in the minority. they will need as a back bencher nancy pelosi helping guide them. there's no one better at advising them on how to be in the minority. >> that is exactly right. she may be a back bencher, but she will be in the front row as she guides this transition.
9:39 am
i recall in those meetings i had with her over six years sitting in her office, she always had four criteria for her succession. she was clear-eyed about this. the first was, who could lead this diverse caucus, keep it united? the second, who has the ability to negotiate not only with republicans in the house but with democrats in the senate? with the democratic white house or republican white house. third, who can raise the resources that democrats need to win the cycle? fourth, what's in the best interest of the country? those criteria are clearly being applied to the future leadership ranks, and i believe her voice will be clear and quite influential. if i may, i think we should appreciate this moment. this is a historic moment that we can't allow to escape. this is the most talented and visionary political figure that we have seen in recent american history. not just a woman, but a
9:40 am
historic, impactful, talented visionary political leader. ashley made the point that pelosi's favorite saying was, no one gives you power, you must take it. today she does something historic. she returns power to her caucus, believing that the criteria that she has always had now being fulfilled. >> ashley, as steve was pointing out, i noted her quoting scripture. she's devoutly religious. quoting the scripture that for everything there is a season. that's certainly what she's pointing to is some fresh faces. she's pre-empting any challenge. there has been criticism for several years that all three of the leaders, she, hoyer and clyburn are all in their 80s. there's been pushing from the younger generation it's their turn. none are as skilled as she is. how would they be? she's been there for 35 years. >> that's exactly right.
9:41 am
as congressman israel said, she's going out on her own terms, on frankly a high, where even though democrats lost the house by a small margin, they ultimately won in all the ways where they were expected to get killed by a red wave. it takes also -- she noted a lot of confidence and grace to cede that power, to hand it back, to give it to the next generation of leadership, to be a back bencher, even though it will be more of an ameritus role. to have the confidence that she as the leader of the caucus has trained the next generation of democrats who she feels comfortable can come in in line with her. that is what a strong woman, a strong mentor, a strong leader does. >> one of the questions that's on the table is, what will hoyer
9:42 am
do? he has been, if i may, the prince charles of the house of representatives. he has been waiting and waiting in line. do you know that as young maryland democrats, nancy pelosi and hoyer were interns on the hill? they worked in house offices as college students at the same time. they knew each other back then. i was a local reporter in washington covering the legislature. he was a senator there. so he has been waiting a long time. it's possible that -- it has been reported by -- we have to talk to him ourselves. quite possible he would decide rather than fighting the new team that seems to be lining up, that ali vitali just mentioned,
9:43 am
that he would take a grateful leave. i'm not sure jim clyburn will. he is going to very much want to represent at least his interests and the interests in voting rights. he may see hakeem as the heir to that legacy as well. susan, waits to be seen what's going to happen to the other members of the leaders. >> i'm just reflecting and listening to nancy pelosi. one thing that shined through was her deep patriotism, her love of country. then reflecting on looking at the people in the audience. it was despicable the republicans couldn't stand. looking at democratic members, at times they love her, at times they fear her. but they always respected her. you know, i look towards what may happen come january 1st and a potential speaker mccarthy. i think, kevin mccarthy is not
9:44 am
respected nor feared. will probably be a complete train wreck as speaker. nancy pelosi, class act to the end. maybe one of her first acts will be to help transition leadership from the old to the new and finding a way for them to kind of be woven together in a respectful way. >> joining me now is democratic senator ben luhan of new mexico. i want to ask you about nancy pelosi and her legacy and your reaction to her decision. >> it was an emotional moment on the floor of the united states capitol. i was honored to join my house colleagues in being there for this historical moment. i certainly appreciate
9:45 am
everything that the speaker has done from the very beginning, from organizing around san francisco and california to joining the united states house of representatives with clear goals to make things better for her constituents. she accomplished each and every one of them. to earning support, to becoming a member of the house leadership and being elected speaker twice. it was very special for me having the honor to be appointed by her to serve at the democratic congressional campaign committee and then be elected to serve there and as assistant speaker. you learn so much from such an incredible leader. i will say as much as everyone else does, speaker pelosi is unmatched. there's no one like her. >> senator, if you can talk about what you think her biggest achievements were. we have been watching her get hugs. she got a hug from catherine clark. there are reports jim clyburn,
9:46 am
who said he was going to stay, that also he will be supporting hakeem jeffrey for speaker and that hoyer might be supporting him for speaker and might be stepping down but remain in congress from maryland. we are following all those reports. when we confirm them, we will pass that on. perhaps, senator, the one you know better than us than we would, exactly what's going to happen in that transition. >> with the speaker's greatest accomplishments, there's a long list and an important list. from the time that i was a member of the u.s. house of representatives, transforming the country and embracing a new way that people would benefit from coverage to get health care. the affordable care act. we know the way that that was worked, the votes that came together. i still remember that first august where we had town halls across the country, but we came together after we listened to
9:47 am
our constituents. we strengthened the initiatives. it was the speaker that drove that home. i learned so much from her during that time all the way to a conversation that we had with the speaker when i was first elected to the house. a colleague of mine, who was a member of the house, he was working on an important piece of legislation. we weren't getting the support that we hoped we would from some of our colleagues. harry went to talk to the speaker. he shared with her the importance of this bill. he said, how can we get this done? and she said, i'm going to visit with them as a mother and as a grandmother to explain to them the importance of this initiative. harry, to his credit said, if that doesn't work? speaker nancy pelosi said, i will speak to them as the speaker of the house. i think that just describes everything that the speaker has always done. it's always family. she understands the power in that gavel as she knows how to use it. she cares about people. in the end, that's what drives
9:48 am
her most. everything that i have seen her do and have been a part of, it's family driven. it's for the good of our country and for the good of kids. that's why it's an honor to be there. as far as future elections, we have incredible talent in the house of representatives. some of the people i have been who ed honored to work with. but what i will say, it's going to take the caucus coming together as a family, because i don't know that anyone can replace nancy pelosi. but we can make sure we are able to lead and make things possible and positive for the american people. >> kristin welker, from the white house, apparently nancy pelosi has called the president? >> reporter: yes. let me read you what we have from the white house. the president spoke with speaker pelosi, congratulated her on her historic tenure as speaker of the house. he watched the speech just now. i am told that a full statement is coming shortly.
9:49 am
we will continue to check our phones for that. this is what you would expect as you and i were talking about before speaker pelosi took to the podium, it would be expected she would reach out to, she would have a call with president biden before she announced this to the world. again, their relationship goes back decades. they have a very close working relationship. she ticked through what she sees as their accomplishments together. at the same time, i think what is so notable about all of this, what you have been talking about, what ali talked about so well is the fact that you heard the house speaker really endorse this moment and a call for a new generation of leaders. this is something we heard from a number of democrats. this is, frankly, looming over president biden as he determines whether he will make a bid for re-election. he said he intends to run for re-election. he is going to huddle with family members over the holidays and make a final decision. this is undoubtedly a new moment. president biden watching very
9:50 am
closely. >> steve israel, let's talk more about nancy pelosi and what role she will play from behind the scenes, certainly fund-raising and guiding and advising hakeem jeffrey if he ends up as democratic leader, because they are now in the minority. >> continuity is important right now. all the instability appears to be on the republican size. historically narrow margin. kevin mccarthy has to thread a needle that's going to be aimed at his back. she's going to want to make sure the instability remains on the republican side and there's continuity. that means continuing to the leadership team. you know, she is so well known for taking care of the folks who have supported her. she is loyal to the nth degree. and there are reports that she has already been talking to the congressman adam schiff ho is contemplating a position in
9:51 am
leadership, to help secure and work with him on his future. she's bringing together the disparate elements of the caucus to ensure that there is a very strong measured level of support for the new leadership. and i'm sure she is in conversations with stanny hoyer and jim clyburn to ensure there are no ruffled feathers or no missteps as they transition into this leadership. she will continue, it's very important to understand why she is staying in the called back bench again, front row but described as the back bench. she wants to make sure that this transition is stable, that the caucus is strong, that they are in good position to win back the majority, in 2024, she is a five dimensional thinker, she is already thinking ahead to the next cycle, and she is in a uniquely valuable position to provide that kind of guidance so that the caucus can reach those
9:52 am
objectives. >> that's such valuable insight. and i want to bring in democratic congressman debbie dingell of michigan, of course, another veteran of congress. she took the seat from her late husband after he passed. and you understand so well the speaker as a wife and as a member of congress, and balancing all of those roles and a leader in the women's movement. >> i think, you know, as i said on the floor today, i have, like the speaker, witnessed many historical moments on that floor over the course of the last four decades. as a spouse, as a family member, and now as a member. and nancy has played all of those roles. when i first got to know her, it was more as a human being, as another woman, and she grew in the role, and i want to, you know, i've been on both sides of the issues with nancy, i tem you, it is much more pleasant when you're with her, if she's
9:53 am
mad at you, but she's effective, she's strong, she's tough, she's courageous and when things go awry, she is one of the first to call, in a typical nancy way, before john died, she made sure she is okay and i was upset and she said debbie, you can't be emotional right now, you got to get your act together, you got to make decisions. nancy is a very, very special person and quite frankly in the history of this country, will be one of the great names. >> there are reports that steny hoyer will follow her example and stay in congress as a member of maryland, and not try to compete for leadership. having waited so long in her shadow in many ways, and having been a very effective majority leader. what sur take on what he will do in the next congress? >> i think people are having discussions now. everybody is waiting to know what nancy's decision is going
9:54 am
to be. i think that nancy and steny are two of the wisest, compassionest, toughest, best strategists that i know. i think whatever happens, steny will be here and you will start to see discussions about where these leadership races land in the next -- everybody has been frozen, so i think you'll start to see what's going to happen in the next 24 to 48 hours. >> that also of course raises questions jim clyburn has signaled he wants to stay, but it seems clear from all of our reporting, i would welcome your take of course, as a far more expert take on this, that hakim jeffries considered the front-runner, as someone nancy pelosi had supported, to be the democratic leader, and then katherine clark, and pete augiliar as a part of that mix. >> i think she is sending out a signal in the last 24 hours, you are reading the same signals i have, and schiff has said he will focus on running for the
9:55 am
senate. he certainly i think is probably the only leader right now to, or the only candidate to be the minority leader. and you'll see the rest of these issues shake out. i think that right now, among leadership, all of these great people who are wise, that have been engaged, that they have worked, campaigned across the country, they know every member, they know the strengths and weaknesses, and how you work together. they're all going to be important and valuable. and i think you're going to see everybody have a lull. i don't know, so i can't speak for anybody, but i've always said to everybody, i didn't know about nancy, i don't think anybody else is going to go any place in this congress, and i think you're going to see all of this wisdom and this talent involved or engaged in a senior way. >> by the way, there is a statement now that we have from the president, kristen welker passed this on to us, with the president, we only have a minute
9:56 am
left, debbie dingell, that the president starts by saying, history will note she is the most consequential speaker of the house of representatives in our history. and he concludes that she may be stepping down of course, as speaker, but she will end as a leader of the caucus and she will never waiver in protecting our sacred democracies and she certainly proved that on january 6th, as no one else could have in calling for help and standing with mike pence. >> that said it all and she is an incredible leader, and i've stood with nancy for many years, and i remember the day she was sworn in, when all of the children came up and were around her. today, we celebrate a woman who made a difference and will always be remembered in american history. >> well, none of us could have said it better. debbie dingell, thank you very much for being with us. steve israel as well, kristen welker, ashley parker, susan,
9:57 am
it's been an historic day, a decision by nancy pelosi, to stay in congress, but not to try to be a leader, not to run for leadership. she will step down as speaker and be a back bencher, advising the next generation of democrats in the house of representatives. that does it for us, for this edition of "andrea mitchell. >> reporter:s." it's a privilege to be with us. and follow us online on facebook and twitter. "chris jansing reports" is next after these brief messages. is n after these brief messages it's time for theraflu hot liquid medicine. powerful relief so you can restore and recover. theraflu hot beats cold. (vo) verizon small business days are back. and there's never been a better time to switch! get our best offers of the year on business internet. help your business stay ahead with the reliable connection your business deserves. book your appointment today. and switch to the network america relies on. verizon.
9:58 am
(woman vo) sailing a great river past extraordinary landscapes into the heart of iconic cities is a journey for the curious traveler, one that many have yet to discover. exploring with viking brings you closer to the world, to the history, the culture, the flavors, a serene river voyage on an elegant viking longship. learn more at
9:59 am
i'd like to thank our sponsor liberty mutual. they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. contestants ready? go! only pay for what you need. jingle: liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪♪ the only thing i regret about my life was hiring local talent. if i knew about upwork. i would have hired actually talented people from all over the world. instead of talentless people from all over my house. if you run a small business, you need the most from fro every investment.ld. that's why comcast business gives you more. more innovation... with our new gig-speed wi-fi, plus unlimited data. more speed... from the largest, fastest, reliable network... and more savings- up to 60% a year with comcast business mobile. all from the company that powers more businesses than any other provider. get started with fast speeds and advanced security for $49.99 a month for 12 months. plus ask how to get up to a $750 prepaid card with a qualifying bundle.
10:00 am