A mundane Monday for hundreds of potential jurors suddenly buzzed with excitement when two political bigwigs were spotted: White House adviser Karl Rove and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

"A lady came and sat next to me and said 'Do you see who I see?"' a witness told The Associated Press.

The witness said the Bush strategist, a Republican, was sitting on the left in a court waiting area, and the former secretary of state, a Democrat, was sitting on the right.

Both Rove and Albright were among a group of possible jurors called into the courtroom of District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Rafael Diaz just before lunch.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Rove was quickly excused from serving as a juror because he knew the judge socially. Albright's spokeswoman, Jamie Smith, said the former secretary was called back for a second day.

About 1,700 potential jurors are summoned on Mondays, court spokeswoman Leah Gurowitz said.