Last Daisy Petal Obama Picked Was 'I Love the Public Option'

And you know what comes after that.

UST BEFORE leaving on vacation for Martha's Vineyard, President Barack Obama picked a daisy petal indicating his strong approval of the public option to be included in any health-care reform legislation. However, as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted in his latest briefing to reporters, "The President has many more petals on the health-reform daisy, and it's very difficult to predict which petal he'll be at when the pretty little flower has been picked clean."

When veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas asked Mr. Gibbs why he couldn't "just tell us how many petals are left, then we can figure it out for ourselves," the Press Secretary said that the legislation-deciding daisy had been "secured against mishandling by anyone other than the President" while Mr. Obama was vacationing, so as to assure that the final outcome "would not result from daisy tampering."

"How would it be if the final petal was meant to stand at 'I love the public option not,' but someone engaged in covert petal pulling and changed the course of history? Believe me, Helen, the President is not interested in playing fast and loose with the fate of health-care reform at this juncture."

It is rumored that while the President vacations in Martha's Vineyard, his invaluable health-reform daisy has been placed in the lock box once used to protect Social Security funds.

"That box is as empty as John Edwards' phone logs," chuckled the Press Secretary, "but I'm not here to confirm or deny the location of the reform daisy, just as I am not here to confirm or deny pretty much anything."

Mr. Gibbs assured reporters that, upon Mr. Obama's return, "petal pulling will be right at the top of the President's agenda."

"Exactly how much longer will it take the President to wrap up this daisy business?" asked a visibly frustrated Ms. Thomas.

"Oh, not very long," said the Press Secretary. "As long as Bo doesn't snatch it away from the President. Because then we'd have to start all over. That's as you know, Helen, the hard-and-fast daisy rule."