Democrats start to eye a post-Pelosi era

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Nancy Pelosi just won what may be her final term as speaker — and the battle to succeed her is just beginning.

House Democrats are already starting to shift their focus toward a bloc of ambitious colleagues jockeying to take over when she finally steps aside, even as Pelosi maintains a firm hold on her caucus.

The dynamic could turn awkward over the next two years as younger members begin maneuvering to seize their shot at the top while trying not to alienate the leader they all want to replace. Pelosi still hasn’t definitively said this is her last term but has signaled as much, and is eager to seal her legacy without losing any leverage.

“It’s her job, frankly, to help us with that transition, to help us create a succession plan. I don’t want it to be the kind of thing where people are afraid to voice it, because, ‘The speaker’s still in power, and I don’t want to intrude on her,'” said Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), who has backed Pelosi and says she wants a caucus-wide discussion about her successor.

Pelosi, for her part, has said publicly and privately it’s up to the caucus to choose its leaders and she has no plan to pick a successor.

“I don’t think anybody should be considered the heir apparent to that seat,” added Wild, who is starting her second term.

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