(CNN) - Behind closed doors in recent days, senior White House aides have been saying that measuring President Obama's first 100 days is the journalistic equivalent of a Hallmark holiday.
"They don't mean anything," quipped one aide, "but you have to observe them."
But literally in the next breath the very same aide got pretty bold - saying anyone doing one of these anniversary stories would be "hard-pressed to find another administration that has done as much" as Obama so early in a presidency, even when compared to the productivity of FDR.
"[Most productive] I think in my lifetime," said the senior aide. "An extraordinary beginning, but just the beginning."
In other words, Obama is just showing up for work on this "Hallmark holiday" with more than just a crummy greeting card to celebrate the occasion.
There will be metaphorical flowers and candy in the form of a White House welcome for the president's new BFF and favorite Democrat, Sen. Arlen Specter, to claim bipartisanship.
That's followed by a quick afternoon jaunt to the Midwest to show off early results at a town hall meeting in Missouri (the Show-Me State, get it?).
All of that capped off by the bright lights of a prime-time news conference in the East Room of the White House.
All this begs the question: Why did Obama's team suddenly embrace all this hoopla for what they claim to be an artificial holiday?