She may be the most powerful woman in the Capitol and you have probably never heard of her. Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.) is the vice chairwoman of the Democratic Caucus, that soon may change as she looks to climb to the top.
The progressive Massachusetts Democrat has been quietly working behind the scenes to build favor with House colleagues, writing checks and campaigning around the country on their behalf. She’s been holding one-on-one meetings with members in an attempt to give them a greater voice, and hosting lawmakers at monthly policy dinners, including a June gathering with celebrity chef José Andrés on disaster relief.
Clark’s been courting minority and female lawmakers, who have become the new power centers of the diverse 235-member caucus and will play a critical role in determining the next generation of party leaders.
Some congressional Democrats have begun referring to the 55-year-old as “the silent assassin,” because she plays the inside game, mostly out of view of the TV cameras.
A former prosecutor and state legislator, Clark said she is laser-focused on implementing House Democrats’ “For the People” agenda and making President Trump a “one-term president.”
Clark doesn’t flinch when asked if she views herself as a potential Speaker of the House when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decides to step aside.
“This opportunity to be at the leadership table has been a true honor and privilege … And as opportunities arise in leadership, I will look at them,” Clark said in a wide-ranging, hourlong interview in her Capitol Hill office.
“But we have so much work to do right now that I don’t want to take my eye off the ball of the critical work that we’re doing around health care,” she added, “around putting those issues that we were sent here in the midterms to do as the top priority.”