Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Among the many people who contributed to this biography, let me first list my wife, Annika, who gave me Sunday mornings free and clear to write—and who bought me the miniature recorder I used over the last five years to interview a host of Vermonters with intimate knowledge of Leahy’s career. All those interview subjects deserve thanks, but particularly Senator Pat Leahy and his wife Marcelle, the late Marselis Parsons, Chris Graff, Carolyn Dwyer, Toby Knox and Brian Harwood, David Schaefer, Paul Bruhn, Ed Pagano, Garrison Nelson, Luke Albee, Mary Leahy, Chief Judge Beryl Howell, US Marshal David Demag, Governor Phil Hoff, Candace Page, Senator Gary Hart, and filmmaker Dorothy Tod....

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Prologue

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pp. xi-xviii

It is Monday, October 15, 2001, just after ten o’clock in the morning. Outside the tall office windows, it’s a clear day and only comparatively cool after a broiling summer in the nation’s capital. Fall sunlight pours into the air-conditioned suite. Off to one side of a large polished conference table, a young woman sits carefully in a chair. Rather than simply poised, she seems deliberately frozen, actively working to avoid motion....

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Introduction | Leahy, Media, Anthrax, Batman

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pp. xix-xxxii

If—as Euclidean geometry maintains—just two points determine a unique line, then the discovery of a second anthrax target highly placed in the US government should have provided key information about the anonymous attacker’s motivations or frame of reference. And the discovery of the Leahy letter did touch off a frenzy of activity within the FBI, with agents attempting to trace individuals who might have specific reason to hold grudges against both senators simultaneously....

Part I | Leahy Begins

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pp. 1-2

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1 | The Origin Story

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pp. 3-15

In one very literal sense, Patrick Joseph Leahy had a Norman Rockwell Vermont childhood. In the early summer of 1940—the very year of Leahy’s Montpelier birth—the famed illustrator Norman Rockwell abruptly relocated his small family from New Rochelle, New York, to the smaller, sleepier community of Arlington, Vermont. New Rochelle had been rocked by the high-profile kidnapping and beheading of a twelve-yearold boy, son of a prominent Manhattan attorney, and the unbelievable viciousness of the act helped spur the Rockwells to finally make their Vermont summer home a permanent residence....

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2 | The Accidental State’s Attorney

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pp. 16-50

One of the things you notice immediately about Leahy’s inner circle is the generally impressive scale of the inhabitants. Whether by design or happenstance or both, the eight-term senator has surrounded himself with aides and staffers who mirror his own height and physical command. In fact, in any hall packed with Vermont political types, you can ordinarily pick out the Leahy people simply by glancing over the heads of the rest of the crowd....

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3 | The Children’s Crusade: The Senate Race of 1974

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pp. 51-79

Let’s be precise: it was not, technically speaking, impossible for Patrick Leahy to be elected over Richard Walker Mallary to the United States Senate from the state of Vermont in the year 1974.
But the fact of its eventual narrow possibility has come over the decades to almost entirely obscure the outcome’s complete and utter implausibility. That is to say, Pat Leahy should not have been elected to the Senate in 1974, by any realistic reading of the challenges he faced. His contemporaries can certainly be excused for having laughed at his chances, because in point of fact those chances were laughable....

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4 | Ninety-Ninth of One Hundred

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pp. 80-98

Arguably, no one was more stunned by Patrick Leahy’s against-all-odds Senate victory than the senator-elect himself. Yes, he and Marcelle had never lost hope, but even Leahy’s own optimistic internal polls had predicted a tough seven-point loss just days before the election. Dorothy Tod’s “Leahy Walton film,” as it turned out, had very suddenly changed everything.
And now the candidate who had done the least to plan for the transition to Washington, dc, would have to get serious about those complex logistics, and quickly....

Part II | The Top Cop

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pp. 99-100

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5 | The Second Children’s Crusade

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pp. 101-122

In July 1992, Leahy walked off the Senate floor and into an impromptu meeting that a trusted aide named Tim Rieser had scheduled for him in a nearby Capitol alcove. Seated there in his wheelchair was a man named Bobby Muller, a striking figure in his late forties, with longish white hair and black brows over dark eyes. In 1969, as a marine combat lieutenant, Muller had led a charge up a Vietnamese hill, only to be paralyzed when a bullet severed his spinal cord. And yet he had managed not merely to heal, but to create much of the nonprofit infrastructure available to Vietnam veterans in the decades following the war’s end, organizations like the Vietnam Veterans of America....

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6 | Leonidas and the Three Hundred: Leahy versus the Bush White House, May–October 2001

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pp. 123-156

In Book 7 of The Histories, Herodotus recounts the bloody story of King Leonidas, circa 480 bc. The tale is set in Thermopylae, a narrow pass between towering mountains and the sea, directly in the path of the invading Persian army of King Xerxes. Defending that pass—and the heart of Hellenic culture beyond—were Leonidas, his three hundred handpicked Spartan warriors, and just a few thousand Greek volunteers picked up along the march to battle....

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7 | Leonidas and the Three Hundred: October and November 2001

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pp. 157-182

Almost immediately, the powder in the Daschle letter was identified as anthrax. Leslie and the other interns—as well as a handful of others potentially exposed—were given prophylactic doses of Cipro and told to go home and watch for any symptoms of either cutaneous or inhalational anthrax.
By the end of that evening, researchers at the us Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, had provided final confirmation: the powder was indeed anthrax.1 Clearly the anonymous mailer had decided to follow the primary wave of media attacks with a secondary strike at the very heart of the us government....

Part III | The Top Cop Rises

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pp. 183-184

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8 | Nemeses and Archenemies

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pp. 185-217

It hurt to lose the Judiciary gavel again in January 2003, and to return to the minority as ranking member—again. There was no denying the sharpness of Leahy’s disappointment. Of course the American people were still frightened, less than two years out from the events of 9/11, but there seemed more to it than that. It was as though the voters simply couldn’t make up their minds for any significant period of time, even with the two major political parties separated by an increasingly vast gulf on most issues of consequence. Senate majorities seemed perpetually balanced on a knife’s edge, ready to topple one way or the other at a moment’s notice....

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9 | For Love of the Batman: The Dark Knight and COICA/PIPA/SOPA Trilogies

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pp. 218-259

In mid-1994, Leahy received an unexpected but extremely intriguing phone call. On the other end of the line was Robert Daly, then cochairman at Warner Bros., inviting him out to Los Angeles for a one-day walk-on in the upcoming Batman Forever, starring Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman. Daly knew of Leahy’s highly public fanboy interest in the caped crusader, and he thought the senator would get a kick out of spending a day prowling around the set.
It would be an understatement to say that Leahy was delighted, but he was also scrupulous—he insisted on paying his own way to the filming, and noted that fact to Variety the following year.1...

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10 | The Havana Protocol

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pp. 260-272

On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, Leahy’s alarm clock went off at 2 a.m. He had gotten a few hours of nervous sleep, but very few. And even those had been extremely difficult to come by. The Senate had been voting until late Tuesday night, and Leahy had had to skip the last vote—a true rarity for a senator with a fifteen-thousand-plus career voting record—in order to find a few moments to shut his eyes. To make matters more unusual, he couldn’t so much as hint to anyone why he was leaving....

Notes

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pp. 273-306

Index

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pp. 307-317

Illustrations

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pp. A-L