McConnell, greatly reduced in size and influence, couldn't restrain
himself, as Obama enjoyed his latest VICTORY following his triumphant
Heath Care Reform Measure!
"Rodent scurries by as Obama lauds Wall Street vote"
By MARK S. SMITH
The Associated Press
Friday, May 21, 2010; 7:51 AM
WASHINGTON -- In the midst of his battle with the titans of Wall
Street, President Barack Obama was nearly upstaged by a rodent. Obama
had just begun a Rose Garden statement lauding the end of a Senate
filibuster on his financial overhaul when some kind of rodent dashed
out of the bushes to his right, just outside the Oval Office.
As photographers snapped away in the sun-drenched garden, the critter
scurried straight past the gray podium with the presidential seal and
made a bee-line for another set of bushes to Obama's left.
(Watch video of the rodent scurry past President Obama)
It's not clear if the president could even see the streaker, but he
didn't show any reaction. And he concluded his statement minutes
later, returning to his office without answering a few shouted
questions on other topics.
Once he was safely inside the Oval Office, a fierce debate erupted
among the photographers and reporters who'd witnessed the dash. Was it
a rat or a mouse? Or maybe a mole, or some other kind of related
Before long, experts had joined the fray.
"I would partially rule out rat," said Russell Link, a wildlife
biologist who works for the Washington State Department of Fish and
Wildlife. "That's due to the lack of a tail that is typically equal to
After viewing a photograph of the surprising scurry, Link said, "My
suspicion is it's a vole, commonly called a 'meadow mouse' out our
In fact, this wasn't the first time a rodent's been spied in the White
House, or even the Rose Garden.
Just last week, as camera crews set up for an Obama statement on the
Gulf oil spill, what's believed to have been the same rodent made a
dash across the famous garden.
The press work areas behind the White House briefing room have had at
least one rat sighting, though that was before a multimillion-dollar
rehab project finished by the Bush administration.
Moreover, rodents of all kinds are pretty common in Washington. From
time to time, city officials issue alarms about surges in the rat
population when residents put out extra-big summer piles of garbage.
Washington is, after all built, along a river, on what used to be a