President pardons Thanksgiving turkeys
BY MATTHEW DALY Associated Press
Thursday, November 22, 2012
11/22/12 at 5:34 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama pardoned two turkeys in an annual Thanksgiving rite Wednesday, saying he wanted to offer the birds a second chance.
"They say life is full of second chances, and this November, I couldn't agree more with that sentiment," a smiling Obama said in one of several lighthearted references to his re-election this month to a second term.
Cobbler, the newly designated national turkey, and his alternate, Gobbler, received a reprieve.
"The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward!" Obama said in a reference to his campaign slogan of "Forward."
Obama noted that Cobbler and Gobbler were selected by the American people, who cast their votes for the national Thanksgiving turkey on the White House Facebook page.
Accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia, Obama waved his hand over Cobbler in a vaguely religious "dispensation," then laughed as the bird gobbled loudly. Obama and Sasha petted the turkey. Malia did not.
"Congratulations Cobbler. You're going to have a great life," Obama said.
The pair of 19-week-old, 40-pound turkeys from Rockingham County, Va. , will live at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, along with last year's birds, Liberty and Peace.
Thanks to the American people, "the only Cobbler that will be on the plates" of a Thanksgiving dinner is a pie, Obama said.
Later the Obamas took a motorcade to the Capital Area Food Bank, continuing their annual Thanksgiving tradition of participating in a service project there.
Original Print Headline: President pardons Thanksgiving turkey
President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha (center) and Malia, carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/Associated Press