President Barack Obama pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the Rose Garden on Nov. 25. It was the 68th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation and POTUS reflected upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving, wished all American families safe and nailed the occasion with daddy jokes that sent Sasha giggling.
“It is hard to believe that this is my seventh year of pardoning turkey. Time flies, even if turkeys don’t,” the president said. His youngest daughter giggled, almost uncontrollably, covering her mouth before blurting, “That was good, that was good.”
Malia was also laughing. The president looked at them and said “I thought it was good,” proud of his daddy joke.
Mr. Obama was on a roll. “Abe (the turkey) is now a free bird. He’s TOTUS – the Turkey of the United States,” he joked. “If for some reason Abe can’t fulfill his duties to walk around and gobble all day, Honest (the other turkey) is in an undisclosed location ready to serve in the TOTUS line of succession.”
In the middle of his speech, the president turned serious, albeit emotional. He thanked his daughters for being with him in the occasion. “They do this solely because it makes me feel good. Not because they actually think that this is something I should be doing,” Mr. Obama said. Malia will be in college for next year and this might be the last time she could join the president in the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation. The occasion was also the second to the last for Mr. Obama with his term nearing its end.
“As you get older, you appreciate when your kids just indulge you like this, so I’m very grateful,” POTUS said of his daughters.
Abe and Honest are both 18-week-old, 40-pound turkeys. After the pardoning, tradition dictates that they will be on display at Morven Park’s “Turkey Hill” at the home of former Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis.
The first family also donated two turkeys from Jaindl Farms to the Capital Area Food bank in Washington, DC. The president said the turkeys will be for the homeless veterans of war.