"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."
1. It wasn't a rat. It was a vole.
2. Our own animal nature is revealed by the way we are distracted by animals. We are critters too, and we have a sharp eye for prey, even when it's something we don't eat anymore.
3. I bet Obama was thinking about the time a fly tried to upstage him at the White House:
Can't do that with a vole, can you? Poor Obama! Things don't go his way as easily as they did a year ago when he "got the sucker" (the fly).
4. The "sucker" symbolizes his opponents. Last year, it was a slow-moving fly, handily squelched. This year, the vole skitters unscathed. By next summer, the White House is going to look like this:
UPDATE: Hours later, scientists determine that it was in fact a vole. Told ya. Thanks to Meade, a man who can tell one rodent from another.