Obama speech disrupted by rodent
President Barack Obama was upstaged by a rodent as he spoke on Wall Street legislation.
Mr Obama had just begun a Rose Garden statement lauding the end of a US Senate filibuster on his financial overhaul when a rodent dashed out of the bushes to his right, just outside the Oval Office.
As photographers snapped away in the sun-drenched garden, the creature scurried straight past the grey podium with the presidential seal and made a bee-line for another set of bushes to Mr Obama's left.
It's not clear if the president could even see the animal, 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.
Opinion was divided on the identity of the rodent.
"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 body length."
After viewing a photograph of the surprising scurry, Mr Link said: "My suspicion is it's a vole, commonly called a 'meadow mouse' out our way."