Paul Kane explains that while guessing what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will do is a "fool's errand," she is considering stepping down from leadership and might be angling to have some control over who succeeds her:
Waiting in the wings are a pair of 70-somethings and a younger generation of Democrats, all quietly angling to grab new seats at the leadership table should she step down. Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), 73, with whom Pelosi has had a strained relationship over the years, is the front-runner to succeed her as minority leader. [...]
Leadership elections are held by secret ballot, with a bare majority needed for victory. Two years ago, in a move to snuff out any opposition, Pelosi held leadership elections less than two weeks after the midterm vote. She faced token opposition and won election to minority leader. This year, she scheduled the elections for the week after Thanksgiving, leading some to speculate that she is buying time for challengers to mount campaigns against Hoyer or others.