The Fine Print
Over the course of a nearly 40-year career in the Senate, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has toured the world, dined with presidents and brokered legislative deals – all while snapping photographs every step of the way.
Born blind in one eye, Leahy has used his front row seat to history to capture some of the most unique photographs of politicians and world leaders. Leahy gave “The Fine Print” a tour of some of his photos on display at Georgetown University Law Center at an exhibit curated by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
Leahy, who also is president pro tempore of the Senate, a position third in the line of succession to the presidency, captured a rare photograph of then-Sen. Barack Obama as he spoke in a private room to his Democratic colleagues shortly after he was sworn into office.
“I was the only camera in the room,” Leahy told “The Fine Print” as he reflected on the photograph.
During President Ronald Reagan’s second presidential inauguration, Leahy captured what turned out to be one of Reagan’s favorite photographs.
“President Reagan saw it. And he and Mrs. Reagan liked it the best of all the pictures they'd seen,” Leahy said. “They said we ought to invite this photographer in and thank him. They said what a coincidence it says photoed by Patrick Leahy. And somebody said Ah Mr. President, that's Senator Leahy.”
“He invites me down, he hands me the photograph back,” Leahy said. “He wrote on it, ‘Pat can't believe my favorite photograph was taken by a Democrat, but I really appreciate it. Ron.’”
In addition to photography, Leahy has used his creative side on the big screen, making cameos in four Batman movies. Leahy, who donates all of the proceeds he receives from the movies to the Vermont library where he checked out his first book, said his obsession with Batman began when he was reading as a young boy.
“I was born blind in one eye and I learned to read when I was 4 years old,” Leahy said. “I got fascinated with Batman. I tend to remember everything I've ever read. And I can quote Batman comic books of 40 to 50 years ago.”
But will Leahy appear in the next Batman film? The Vermont senator won’t say.
“It’s going to be a fascinating movie. It will have superb actors in it,” he said.
For more of the interview with Leahy, including a look at his favorite photographs of President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, check out this episode of “The Fine Print.”
ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps, Ali Dukakis, Ben Siegel, Tom Thornton, Gary Westphalen, Wayne Boyd and Vicki Vennell contributed to this episode.