John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, shocked the political world by announcing today that he is 6 months pregnant. Senior aides have dismissed reporter's questions, calling the news a "private, family matter".
A spokesman refused to answer questions, instead reading a prepared statement from the McCain campaign:
"Our beautiful candidate John came to us with news that as a campaign we knew would make him grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of John's decision to have the baby and even prouder to welcome a new arrival to the campaign. John plans to marry the father when he works out who it is and together they are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of the entire campaign."
Speculation had been flooding the internet that McCain was expecting, after several campaign appearances where he had appeared tired, hunched and distant, as if some weighty issue was playing on his mind.
Barack Obama chose not to try and make political capital from the announcement, instead highlighting his grandfather's shock pregnancy at the age of 65, and that fact that his Kenyan brother last year fathered a child with a surf shop owner called George.
McCain's wife Cindy is said to be standing by him, but is understandably shocked by the news, as it was accompanied by the realisation that if her husband becomes president, they will only have access to one White House and a salary of just $400,000 a year.