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WASHINGTON (CAP) - With just days to go before the big holiday, White House officials say President Barack Obama is "very close" to a decision on what to get First Lady Michelle for Christmas this year. The president is expected to announce his decision within "several hours" today.
"The president has been meeting daily with his top advisors and they have provided him with the best options available at this time," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "In approximately one hour, he will present his choice to a hand-picked task force, who will then approve or veto the choice."
Despite Obama's recent claims on Oprah Winfrey's talk show that he gives "nicer stuff" than he gets, Republicans charge that the president is no different than any other man who waits until the last minute to get his spouse a gift. However, Gibbs says that Operation Christmas Present has been in the works "for weeks" without much fanfare.
"It is unfathomable that this president would not first consult Congress before making such a major decision," said Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA). "I expect the House and Senate will have some say when it comes to choosing gift wrap, bows and ribbon. We must nip this in the bud before it blossoms into presentgate."
Gibbs denied such accusations, noting that Operation Christmas Present did originally include a public option. But furor from within the president's own party led him to rethink that idea and go with a more simplified decision-making process.
"Let me get this straight. The president wants the government to help him pick a Christmas gift for his wife?" Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) whined to reporters on Capitol Hill last week. "I don't have time for this crap. I have candles to light."
According to CAP News sources within the White House, Obama has actually already finalized his gift decision and is simply awaiting the rubber stamp approval of the task force before making the announcement. Documents illegally obtained by CAP News indicate the president plans to give his wife a limited edition Disney Just One Kiss Princess Tiana doll custom made in her likeness.
"I don't think it's as good a gift as the Snuggies they gave each other last year," said CAP News political analyst Fuad Reveiz. "But how can you turn down the free shipping with Amazon's Super Saver Shipping on orders $25 and over?"
For his part, President Obama has pledged to make clear to the American people the reasoning behind his gift-giving decision as well as the costs of the gift, of which the American taxpayers will be bearing the brunt. A recent CAP News / Washington Post poll found that 44 percent of Americans believe the Disney doll is a good choice, while the other 56 percent think he should give her his Nobel peace prize.
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