Obama says he wants Pelosi back as speaker

President Obama said at a closed-door fundraiser Thursday that he wants to see House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) become speaker of the House again.

"Not only did we accomplish a great deal when she was speaker; we’re going to accomplish that much more once we get her back in," Obama said at the event at a private residence in La Jolla, Calif.

Pelosi hasn't said whether she's aiming to become speaker again, but it's unusual for former speakers to stick around after their party loses the majority, and some think the 74-year old would like to reclaim her gavel.

Republicans love to float that possibility in campaign ads, believing the liberal San Francisco lawmaker is an albatross for Democrats.

Obama also repeated previous comments suggesting Democrats need to redouble their turnout efforts in the 2014 election. He said certain groups that favor Democrats don't turn out to vote because they're "busy."

"The Democrats have a congenital disease; we get really excited about presidential elections and then during midterms we fall asleep," Obama said. "And partly it’s the nature of our voters. We’re disproportionately young, disproportionately minority, disproportionately working-class. Folks are busy. They’ve got a lot of stuff going on. And so we tend to drop off during midterms. That’s what happened in 2010."

Even if Democrats didn't have such problems in the midterms, it's unlikely they would be competing for control of the House this year. If Pelosi does aim to become speaker again, it appears she would have to serve through the 2016 election.

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Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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