As the president pro tempore of the Senate, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has a different view of the world than most people — but few in his position have ever attempted to share such a unique vantage point with the world through photography.
In celebration of his 40th year in the Senate, the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, Vt., curated several of his photos that document his time in the Capitol as well as his travels around the world.
Leahy recently gave us a guided tour of the exhibit, which is on display at Georgetown Law Center until Oct. 19.
But with all the historic events he has documented during his lifetime, what was the one photograph he wasn’t able to get?
It was during a trip on Marine One with then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Yeltsin’s wife, Leahy said.
“I was riding with Boris Yeltsin on Marine One out to Andrews Air Force Base, and he and his wife are sitting in the president’s seat across from me,” Leahy said.
“And they had these things of candy in front of them. Mrs. Yeltsin says something to him in Russian, he responds in Russian, and she immediately opens her purse, takes both of [the candy trays] and dumps them out. Even before we took off.”
“We had barely gotten airborne, the steward comes and thinks, ‘I must have forgotten to put candy there,’ puts more candy in. He walks to the back of the helicopter, [Yeltsin] says something to [his wife], she opens her purs" and dumps the candy in.
"I think, ‘Don’t they have candy on Moscow One or whatever he’s flying on?’ And I had the camera with me, and I just couldn’t bring myself” to take a photo.
"Since then, I’ve thought ‘Darn!’”