Hill Hallways: Pelosi cat and mouse
By: CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash
Washington (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team just played an impressive game of cat and mouse to avoid those of us in the Capitol Hill press corps.
We knew she was scheduled for a 3 p.m. interview with Diane Sawyer down the hall and around the corner from her second floor Capitol Hill office.
Usually Pelosi takes the direct route. But today that meant passing a slew of reporters, including the CNN Capitol Hill team, hoping to ask her unanswered questions about her future.
We got a sense that she was going to try to fake us out when Capitol Police officers who guard her suite began to move forward and block our view of a private elevator.
Finally, after waiting for over an hour outside her office, I caught a glimpse of Pelosi getting on that elevator.
My colleague, CNN congressional producer Deirdre Walsh, was already positioned on the first floor just in case Pelosi tried to elude us, and I ran down to join her.
But, it seems that the Speaker took the elevator to the third floor, and walked all the way across the House side of the Capitol to get on a second elevator, back down to the second floor.
It was an elaborate move to try to avoid us, but we quickly figured it out and ran to find her. My other colleague, congressional producer Lesa Jansen was already in position.
Sure enough, after running back up the stairs from the first floor, we heard the ding of the elevator, and out came the Speaker.
Her security detail and aides were trying to push her through the narrow hallway already crowded with television equipment for the interview she was about to do.
"Clear the path ma'am," one officer said. "Space, space, space," is what her press secretary yelled.
Still, I got close enough to ask her if she had made up her mind about whether she was going to stay on as House Minority Leader, or leave Congress.
She didn't answer. Just then she saw her grandchildren at the door where she was headed, and was gone.
It turns out we weren't the only ones she wouldn't talk to about this. A Pelosi aide said afterward she wouldn't tell Diane Sawyer what she's going to do either. She said she is still talking to her caucus, and her family.
When she left the room after the interview, Lesa and Deirdre reported that she was asked whether she would be here next year. Pelosi smiled and said "I'll let you know."