Hakeemology 101

Nancy Pelosi
With Nancy Pelosi’s departure from House leadership, Brooklyn’s Hakeem Jeffries is on his way to becoming the most senior Democratic member of the House. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images
Tara Palmeri
November 28, 2022

With Nancy Pelosi finally passing the torch, Brooklyn’s Hakeem Jeffries is on his way to becoming the most senior Democratic member of the House, wielding more power than any minority leader in recent history thanks to the G.O.P.’s razor-thin margin of control. He is also, of course, the first new person to hold that title in Democratic leadership in almost 20 years. 

Jeffries, 52, steps into the role having already made history as the first Black Democratic leader of the House. But the truth is, not that many people really know him. Even within the Washington fishbowl, he’s something of a mystery—a rare introvert in the Capitol who could care less about the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, the Sunday show circuit or the cocktail scene, or really even the glory.