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Obscure doesn’t mean ineffective or passed over. In fact, in the congressional context, some of the best work gets done behind the scenes by members who would rather build relationships with their colleagues than spar with cable news anchors. These members take on low-profile policy agendas, gain reputations for expertise and benefit from tenure to climb committees or lead issue-area caucuses.
Obscurity is a four-letter word for most politicians, but some Members of Congress build their careers outside the spotlight. The members of the Obscure Caucus stay off the national cable news circuit, spend more time forging relationships with colleagues behind closed doors than elbowing in front of C-SPAN cameras and avoid the kind of innuendo-laced stories that make up so much of today’s political coverage.