President Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkey one last time

Surrounded by two nephews and a cast of friends and White House officials, President Obama spared the life of a Thanksgiving turkey in a Rose Garden ceremony on Wednesday.

A ritual he has often treated with humor at the expense of his teenage daughters, Sasha and Malia, both of whom were attending separate functions, Mr. Obama took one parting shot in their absence, declaring he had no intention of abandoning his annual pardoning of the bird once he leaves office.

“Of course, Thanksgiving is a family holiday as much as a national one. So for the past seven years, I’ve established another tradition: Embarrassing my daughters with a corny-copia of Dad jokes about turkeys,” the president said.

“Malia and Sasha, by the way, are thankful that this is my final presidential turkey pardon. What I haven’t told them yet is that we are going to do this every year from now on.  No cameras. Just us. Every year. No way I’m cutting this habit cold turkey.”

After granting mercy to the bird, and another, named “Tot” and “Tater,” the president shifted tone and addressed the nation, wishing them well for the holiday and expressing gratitude as his second term comes to a close.

“On this Thanksgiving, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the American people for the trust that you’ve placed in me over these last eight years and the incredible kindness that you’ve shown my family. On behalf of Michelle, and my mother-in-law, and our girls, we want to thank you so very, very much,” he concluded.

Mr. Obama followed his remarks by officially sparing and wishing the 40-pound tukey a long life.


[Reuters] [Photo courtesy Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP via Yahoo News]