Seeing as how we’re in the midst of another Debate Season, here’s a Weekly World News story I wrote in August 2005, referencing the last time the candidates did the Dance of 1,000 Lies.

© Weekly World News

Washington, D.C. – Karl Rove. Condoleezza Rice. Dick Rumsfeld. Familiar names to many as advisors to President George W. Bush, but the identity of the commander-in-chief’s very top advisor is a closely guarded secret known, until now, to only a select few.

Because the president’s ranking confidant is a mouse!

This unique relationship was caught on tape by a security camera in the corridor of a Los Angeles hotel where the president was speaking to a gathering of the Republican leadership.

Weekly World News has obtained a copy of this remarkable footage, starting as the president pauses before entering the ballroom to deliver his speech. He moves to a corner where, behind a screen of Secret Service agents, he takes a little white mouse from his pocket and has a hurried whispered conversation with it:

POTUS: I ain’t sure about this speech, Topo.
MOUSE: The speech is fine, W.
POTUS: It doesn’t go far enough!
MOUSE: So, they’ll have to give a little to get what they want.
POTUS: Oh, I get it.
MOUSE: You don’t have to. It’s what I’m here for.

“The president likes to call him Topo Gigio, after the Italian mouse puppet that appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in the 1960s, but his real name is Irwin,” said a high-ranking administration official who confirmed the story on condition of anonymity.

“The president doesn’t make a move without Irwin. Carries that little mouse around with him everywhere he goes.”

Ann Trey, a former White House cook, has seen and heard Irwin for herself. “The president would come into the kitchen for his graham crackers and milk, or sometimes a Pop Tart, and I’d see him sneak little pieces of cheese to the mouse,” said Ms. Trey.

“Well, one time, I heard the mouse say, ‘Give me a piece of that Pop Tart.’ The president said no, that mice ate cheese, but the mouse said it was sick of cheese and wanted some Pop Tart. They got into this whole argument but stopped when they saw me staring. He shoved that mouse into his pocket and skedaddled out of there.”

When asked about Irwin, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters, “I can categorically state that, were any rodents involved in policy discussions, and I’m not saying that any are, they would be involved, not that they necessarily are or are not, on a strictly informal basis.”

But the anonymous administration source said, “Remember that bulge on the president’s back under his suit jacket during the debates? That was Irwin, staying close to whisper answers in the president’s ear.

“Irwin’s pretty darned smart for a mouse. He’s been involved in almost every major policy decision of this administration. The one time the president didn’t take his advice was on how to conduct the Iraqi war and look how that’s turning out.”

A reporter shouting questions about the mouse to the president during his latest five-week vacation at his Crawford, Texas ranch received this response from the commander-in-chief, “Irwin’s just a family friend.”

White House chief of staff Karl Rove amended the president’s statement, saying, “What he meant was, if there was an Irwin, he’d be happy to have him as a friend. But there isn’t. So he doesn’t.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, reportedly jealous of the president’s special advisor, has been seen placing mousetraps around the Oval Office.

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