President Pro Tempore, Third in Line of Presidential Succession, Batman Fan and Actor
It seems the geeks have inherited the Earth, but when it comes to American politics, comic geeks (and geeks in general) seem to be the ones in charge. President Obama is an admitted comic book fan, having read and collected Spider-Man and Conan. former Congressman Grayson is a comic fan who has often quoted comics and used them in political speeches. Recently elected Senator Jon Ossoff has had thoughts on Star Wars and anime. And, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez regularly streams on Twitch and plays video games.
The Senate once again has a new number two, who also happens to be a Batman fan. The new President Pro Tempore (pro tem) of the United States Senate is Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont). Leahy was sworn into the position on January 20, 2021, as the Democrats regained the Senate Majority. This is the second time he held the position. Leahy previously held the role starting in December 2021 after the passing of Senator Inouye. He held the position until January 2015.
The President Pro Tempore is a position created by the Constitution, and is the chamber’s second-highest-ranking official, after the Vice President. Basically, that person runs things when the VP isn’t around. By tradition, the Senate unanimously elects the most senior senator in the majority party to fill the position, which also makes the person third in the line of succession. While the position has played a bigger role in the past, its duties have lessened over the years.
Senator Leahy is a huge Batman fan and has appeared in some of the Batman movies and voiced characters. That was Senator Leahy standing up to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight. The Senator has appeared in five Batman films (Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) as well as voiced a character in Batman: The Animated Series. He’s also credited with being in My Wife is a Vampire.
That fandom and those appearances have also raised some eyebrows. Senator Leahy has stood up for and fought for Hollywood when it comes to things like intellectual property protection. We’re sure being in movies and those policies are not related at all…
Nonetheless, it’s another example of comic fans dominating politics.