After several minutes of gazing up at the faces of four presidents carved into a mountain of granite, Sen. Barack Obama answered the obvious question: Could he picture himself there with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln?
"I don't think my ears would fit," he said. "There's just only so much rock up there."
Obama visited South Dakota's most famous landmark at night, when the mountain is aglow with floodlights -- as anyone who remembers "North by Northwest" and Cary Grant can attest.
"There's something about seeing it at night," Obama said.
His visit came two days after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made a daytime pilgrimage to the national monument.
While she listened to a talk about park history, Clinton was asked if she could see herself, or her husband, carved into the mountain.
Her response: "Why don't you try to learn something about the monument?"
-- Michael Finnegan Don Frederick