“I’m emancipated now!” an ebullient Ms. Pelosi said in a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times.
Even after Ms. Pelosi made clear she would stay on after giving up her leadership post, some Democrats speculated that she would leave Congress before the end of her term or after it ended — potentially clearing the way for her daughter Christine Pelosi, a party activist and a Democratic National Committee executive committee member, to run for her seat.
Ms. Pelosi’s decision to carry on with her 36-year career in the House comes at a moment of renewed scrutiny on the advanced age and health status of the country’s leading public servants — including President Biden, 80, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, 81, the longtime Republican leader — and questions about whether they have overstayed their time in power. Ms. Pelosi managed to somewhat insulate herself from those critiques when she decided last year to step down from leadership, essentially giving herself a demotion.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, another California Democrat who at 89 is the oldest member of Congress, plans to retire after her term ends next year. But she is facing calls to step down sooner amid a precipitous health decline that has raised questions about her ability to do her job. Ms. Pelosi recently attributed those calls to sexism.
A major factor in Ms. Pelosi’s decision to not only finish her term but to seek another, according to people close to her, was the health of her husband, Paul Pelosi, who was brutally beaten with a hammer at the couple’s home in San Francisco last year by an assailant who later said he had been targeting the speaker. With Mr. Pelosi on a solid path to recovery, allies said, Ms. Pelosi did not feel it was necessary to step away from a job she loved.