Leahy's Hat Trick as a Batman Cameo

By Mary Ann Akers And Paul Kane
Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is used to dealing with real men in black as he oversees the federal judiciary. But since childhood, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman also has been fanatic about the fictitious black-caped crusader who metes out his own brand of vigilante justice.

Leahy's love of Batman has reached new heights. Not only did the senator secure a cameo role in "The Dark Knight" -- the latest Batman film, which hits theaters July 18 -- he also has coaxed Warner Bros. into premiering the flick at a fundraising gala in his home town of Montpelier, Vt., instead of L.A. or New York.

The event is July 12, two full days before the big Hollywood premier.

On his way to votes last week, Leahy bragged to On the Hill that the event may raise $100,000 for the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, where a children's wing is named in his honor. He said the town is abuzz, with 350 tickets having sold at $50 apiece. Leahy is donating his pay for the film appearance to the library, which also will get a big lift from a variety of corporate sponsors.

Since the Judiciary chairman is hosting the event, Warner Bros. chairman and chief executive Barry Meyer will be on hand. It does not appear as if any of the lead actors, including Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, will be there. Heath Ledger, who plays the Joker, died in January after most of the filming was done.

Leahy's part, his third Batman cameo, is still something of a secret. It is small enough that he's not listed among the more than 80 actors who receive credits on the movie Web site IMDB.com.

But you can see him in one of the movie trailers currently running on the film's Web site. That's the distinguished senator from Vermont being roughed up by the Joker's henchman in a scene shot last July in a Chicago restaurant.

A Relatively Good Book

Three brothers walk into a bar; one's a Hollywood agent, the other's a leading Harvard doctor and the third, well, he's a lowly member of Congress.

This is not a joke, at least not in the Emanuel family of Chicago, whose middle son, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) may well be the big underachiever.

Youngest brother Ari is the fabled Hollywood agent and basis for Ari Gold, the obnoxious Jeremy Piven character in HBO's series "Entourage." But these days Rahm is playing promoter for brother Ezekiel.

Zeke Emanuel earned his medical degree from Harvard University, where he was an associate medical professor and a fellow in the Kennedy School of Government. He is now a member of the bioethics staff at the National Institutes of Health, and when his little brother, the chairman of the Democratic caucus, needs help with ideas on reforming health care, he turns to Zeke.

With Congress leaving town for this week's Fourth of July recess, Rahm Emanuel sent a copy of his brother's newest book -- "Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America" -- to the entire Democratic caucus.

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