WASHINGTON – In his battle with the titans of Wall Street, President Barack Obama almost got upstaged by a rat.
But he didn't even seem to notice. Assuming that's what it was, scurrying in front of his podium Thursday in a sun-drenched Rose Garden.
Obama had just begun an afternoon statement to reporters lauding the end of a Senate filibuster on his financial overhaul plan when some kind of rodent — opinions differ on which — dashed out of the bushes to his right, just outside the Oval Office.
As photographers snapped away, the critter trundled straight past the gray podium with the presidential seal and made a bee-line for another set of bushes to Obama's left.
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 a vole, or some other kind of related creature...Does it matter? The message being sent was obvious. It's the one involving typical rodent behaviour in the face of an imminent sinking.