Now that House of Cards is back with Season 5, we can expect the Underwoods to be more even more ambitious and cut-throat in their drive for power than ever before. One could argue that Claire Underwood is more ruthless than Frank since she isn’t afraid to use her power as a woman and Frank’s wife to her advantage. Claire uses her husband’s powerful position to get what she wants through manipulation, blackmail, and ultimatums.
Claire Underwood is one downright, badass bitch. So let’s review the top five moments she’s stopped at nothing to get what she wants.
Threatening a former coworker’s unborn baby.
In a nasty fight (including a lawsuit) with former co-worker and CEO Gillian Cole, Claire threatens to pull Gillian’s health insurance. Because she needs a special medication to ensure a smooth pregnancy, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of Claire’s demands. Yikes, talk about hardcore!
Taking a meeting with the Russian Ambassador in the Ladies’ Room
In one of her more brilliant moves, Claire flips the tables on an old LBJ intimidation tactic and insists that Alexi, the Russian Ambassador to the UN (who is male), enter the Ladies’ bathroom for a meeting. He’s noticeably uncomfortable already, but then Claire takes a seat in a bathroom stall and continues the conversation through the partially open stall door as she relieves herself. Needless to say, the Russian Ambassador is ready to agree to anything at that point. Gotta love this power play!
Using her mother’s cancer for publicity cover
Claire and her mother, Elizabeth Hale, have never really gotten along. Elizabeth has never approved of Frank, even as President of the United States. It was, of course, surprising when in a power struggle at the end of Season 3, Claire tells Frank that she’s leaving him, but it was even more surprising that she heads to her mother’s house to be with her because she has cancer. And no one is more surprised than Elizabeth.
Claire uses spending time with her mother as cover so that the press doesn’t question why she’s not on the campaign trail with Frank. And the longer she is gone, the more pressure piles on Frank to succumb to Claire. Even on her deathbed, mother and daughter discuss how her death will benefit the campaign. And when Elizabeth finally does lose her battle to cancer, the Claire plays the sympathy card in an emotional DNC speech.
Going rogue at a Russian press conference
In a moment where it seems that Claire’s conscious gets the better of her, she comes clean in a Russian press conference about the suicide of political prisoner Michael Corrigan. She lies at first and says that no one knows what happened, but she later defies Frank and Russian President Petrov and tells the truth. The political fallout threatens not only the Russian and American partnership but Frank and Claire’s continuously tenuous partnership as well.
Leaking a photo of Frank’s Father with a Klansman
In one of Claire’s many retaliatory moves, she covertly leaks a photo of Frank’s father with a Klansman, jeopardizing Frank’s candidacy for President. Frank figures out that she was behind the leak and confronts her. When Claire calmly admits what she did, she proposes that she join him on the ticket as his Vice President. He rejects the idea at first, but then later gives in.
We can’t wait to see what badass power plays Claire has up her sleeve for Season 5. So grab that wine and settle in for some binge watching!