House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave an extensive interview to “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night, and one of the highlights was when correspondent Lesley Stahl asked her about the party’s future leadership.
Stahl pointed out that Pelosi is 80 years old and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is 81, and she asked why there are no clear heirs in the party. Especially since “The Squad,” the group of young progressives, command such a large following on social media.
Pelosi told Stahl that the question was essentially based on a false premise. She responded that party leaders have groomed future leadership, and perhaps she was unaware.
“Why does AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.] complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?” Stahl asked.
Pelosi responded, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her—because we are.”
Stahl seemed to be taken aback for a moment and said, “That was kind of sharp, kind of dismissing her.”
Pelosi said that was not her intention and said AOC is “very effective, as are others—many other members in our caucus that the press doesn’t pay attention to. But they are there and they are building support for what comes next.”
Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept in an interview published in December that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer should no longer hold the leadership positions in the party that they do. She said the party has little interest in grooming future generations.
“I think one of the things that I have struggled with — I think that a lot of people struggle with — is [that] the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there’s very little option for succession if you will,” she said.
Pelosi once also caught the media’s attention when she seemed to downplay Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in 2016. She said a “glass of water with a D” could win in these Democrat strongholds.