04.23.08

Mettawee Community School

5th Graders

Sen Leahy: Hi - I am back. Was just telling the staff here about when I was State's Attorney and worked with Bob Graf when he was in the Legislature. Small world!

Mettawee Community School: Mrs. Ahlfeld, Librarian, Mrs. Mark, Principal, Mrs. Roberts and Ms. Thomas:  Thank you so much Senator Leahy for this opportunity.  Mrs. Roberts is happy to hear about her father's connection to you!

Sen Leahy: Thanks and Mrs. Ahlfeld i also knew Sen Lawrence years ago

Mettawee Community School: That is wonderful to hear Senator Leahy.  We are ready with our questions whenever you are.

Sen Leahy: go ahead

Mettawee Community School: Frances and Brianne:  when did you want to become a senator?

Sen Leahy: Frances and Brianne - i was born in Montpelier and living near the State House and i think i was always interested in elective office. When I was a law student in Washington I spent a lot of time at the Capitol and realized this is the one place where Vermont is equal to all states and i knew i really wanted to be the U.S. Senator for Vermont

Mettawee Community School: James, Ronnie, Breauna, Olivia and Truman:  Why did you want to become a senator?

Sen Leahy: James, Ronnie, Breauna, Olivia and Truman - I knew I could do the most for Vermont in The U.S. Senate and I am proud that the Leahys have been in our state for 150 years and I thought this is the best way to give something back to Vermont

Mettawee Community School: Luke:  how did you become a senator?

Sen Leahy: Luke - I was the State's Attorney of Chittenden County in Burlington but you have to be 30 years old to be a Senator and when I turned 34 I ran for the Senate. It was an interesting race and it helped that I had thousands of Vermonters of both political parties who volunteered for me

Mettawee Community School: Taylor: what committees are you part of in Washington?

Sen Leahy: Taylor I am the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am also a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and chair one of its subcommittees. I am also on the Agriculture Committee.

Mettawee Community School: Zeke and Andrew:  Is your job easy?  and do you like it?

Sen Leahy: Zeke and Andrew my job sometimes starts very early in the morning and goes past midnight [and most of my staff work very long hours] but it is so interesting i hardly notice the hours. I get to be involved in hundreds of different things and meet very interesting people - and still get to fly home to my home in Vermont very often

Mettawee Community School: Thano, Nora and Branden:  What is your favorite part of your job?

Sen Leahy: Thano, Nora and Branden - I really like seeing fellow Vermonters when they visit Washington. If you look on my website you will see nearly a 100 who visited with me early yesterday morning

Mettawee Community School: Stirling and Osmar:  What are your days like as a Senator?

Sen Leahy: Stirling and Osmar I read literally hundreds of pages of material every day. This morning I chaired a hearing looking into FBI practices and will have meetings this afternoon. This evening we will vote on Veteran's benefits. Those votes will start around 6PM and probably go all evening

Mettawee Community School: Brian and Justin:  How many places have you traveled to and what is your favorite part of the US?

Sen Leahy: Brian and Justin my favorite place is being on my family tree farm in Middlesex Vermont. I have traveled all over the world and I think the two most amazing places were the South Pole in Antarctica and Tibet

Mettawee Community School: Lindsey, Kendra and Walker:  What is the hardest part of your job or what are some problems you have run into?

Sen Leahy: Lindsey, Kendra, and Walker I have voted almost 13,000 times since I came here. Some of the votes are very difficult especially when half of Vermont might be on one side and the other half on the other side and I have to decide what is the best position to take

Mettawee Community School: Anna:  what was your occupation before you became a Senator?

Sen Leahy: Anna when i was in college I worked in my family's printing business. After law school I was in private practice [I believe I was the youngest lawyer in the state at the time] and after a few years became the prosecutor in Chittenden County Vt

Mettawee Community School: Shelden and Brianna:  who do you think will win the election for President?

Sen Leahy: Shelden and Brianna I DO wish I knew the answer! I have supported Senator Obama but I think right now it is too close to tell

Mettawee Community School: Micheal:  Why do you think Senator Clinton should step down from the Presidential race?

Sen Leahy: Micheal - especially after Senator Clinton's win last night she will not step down from the race and neither I nor anyone else will expect her to unless she were to lose some major states. Right now it is possible that the nomination won't be decided until the convention in August

Mettawee Community School: Le Ann:  realistically and honestly, when do you think our troops in Iraq will be withdrawn, no matter who is elected?

Sen Leahy: Le Ann - the troops should not have been there in the first place. Logistically it would take months to get them out even if the decision was made today. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton seem more committed to getting them out soon than Senator McCain does but, until we make it clear we are leaving, Iraq will not spend the money or effort to control their own destiny

Mettawee Community School: Senator Leahy, we have a student here who remembers meeting you several years ago as a kindergartner who got second place in the Race for the Cure.  She wants to say hello.  Her name is Nora Lindberg.

Sen Leahy: I am going to have to leave for a meeting very soon but i do have time for one more question - it is obvious that you are good students and have great teachers. Nora Lindberg thanks for saying hi and i am glad you did so well in the Race. My wife is a cancer survivor and we support efforts to combat all kinds of cancer

Mettawee Community School: Senator Leahy, those were all the questions we had.  Our timing is perfect!  Thanks so much the chat and all you do for our state and country.  The Mettawee School

Sen Leahy: Thank you and again I am very proud of both the students and the teachers.

Mettawee Community School: Thank you so much.  Have a great day.  Signing off...

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David Carle: 202-224-3693