Spared From Dinner: President Obama Pardons Two Turkeys

President: "We can't wait to pardon these turkeys"

Thursday, Nov 24, 2011  |  Updated 8:58 AM EDT
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    President Obama Pardons Two Turkeys

    In an annual White House rite, President Barack Obama pardoned two turkeys, this year from Minnesota.
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    President Barack Obama summed up the turkey's plight speaking Wednesday at the White House.

    "Tomorrow is one of the best day's of the year to be an American," he told the assembled media.  "But it's also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey."

    Two majestic specimens were trotted out this morning at the press conference to receive an annual political rite: the Thanksgiving turkey pardon.

    This year, the two 45 pound birds came from Minnesota.  Liberty is the name of the official national Thanksgiving turkey, and Peace is the alternate. Their names came from school children in Minneapolis and St. Paul, who studied agriculture and the world's food supply.  Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other U.S. state.

    President Obama kept it light, making a joke about partisan politics during the ceremony.

    "As some of you may know, recently I've been taking executive actions that don't require congressional approval.  Well here's another one," the president quipped.  "We can't wait to pardon these turkeys."

    Before the ceremony, the birds got a chance to live it up at the Washington W hotel, where they dined on organic feed and cranberries.  After the pardon ceremony, Liberty and Peace will retire to the historic home of George Washington in nearby Mount Vernon, Va. Liberty will have to endure fame and celebrity during ``Christmas at Mount Vernon,'' a special program that runs through Jan. 6. After the holidays, the two birds will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon's livestock facility.

    Sasha and Malia got a chance to pet the the turkey named Liberty before it was trotted back into the White House.

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