Talkin’ turkey on the duties of a president

November 25, 2009

After an evening of high-level state diplomacy, President Barack Obama came face-to-face with the other side of his job Wednesday and found himself speaking a little too candidly.
Talking turkey, you could say.
“There are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office,” the U.S. chief executive said OBAMAas he studied a large Thanksgiving bird nearby.
“And then there are moments like this,” he said to laughter, “where I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland.”
The annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning came a day after a glittering state dinner at the White House for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — the first state visit of the Obama presidency.
But duties of another order beckoned Wednesday and this time Obama found himself staring across a table at a large white bird.
The turkey, whose name is “Courage,” was provided for the White House event by the National Turkey Federation, which has been doing the honors for more than 50 years, Obama said.
“I’m told Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson actually ate their turkeys. You can’t fault them for that,” he said. “That’s a good-looking bird.”
Kennedy declined to consume a turkey given to him, despite a sign around its neck saying “Good Eatin’, Mr. President.” But it was President Bush who 20 OBAMAyears ago issued the first official presidential pardon for a turkey, Obama said.
To hear the president tell it, that tradition almost didn’t survive this year.
“I am pleased to announce that thanks to the interventions of Malia and Sasha — because I was planning to eat this sucker — ‘Courage’ will also be spared this terrible and delicious fate,” he said.
Turkey pardoning duties aside, Obama said he was thankful for the “extraordinary responsibility” voters had given him, and he paid tribute to U.S. troops abroad and their families. He acknowledged many are suffering because of the recession.
“There’s no question this has been a tough year for America,” Obama said. “We’re at war. Our economy is emerging from an extraordinary recession into recovery, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”
And with that, he had some formal turkey pardoning to do.
“Before this turkey gets too nervous that Bo (the dog) will escape and screw up this pardon or before I change my mind, I hereby pardon ‘Courage’ so that he can live out the rest of his days in peace and tranquility in Disneyland.”
Don’t think every turkey’s going to get off so light.
Later in the day, Obama said, his family was taking two of Courage’s “less fortunate brethren” to Martha’s Table, a Washington group that provides meals for the hungry.
For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama attempts diplomacy with turkey)


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This story has clearly attempted to cover up the part of the exchange in which President Obama bowed to the turkey before relating how deeply ashamed he was of “America’s insatiable addiction to poultry.”

Posted by Justin G | Report as abusive

President Obama’s second holiday pardon was just announced.See:http://notionscapital.word pardon/

Posted by Mike Licht | Report as abusive

check out this funny link: 1/26/gobble-gobble-mr-president/

Posted by obamniac | Report as abusive

This is yet another one of many “news” items that really isn’t news and is not worthy of reporting. Rather it is an illustration of how political parties and the Fifth Estate feed off of each others teats in a continuing, grotesque, symbiotic manner.Consider the following:-This turkey pardon has occurred every year for two decades without signifigance-It is guaranteed to occupy time in every major media market-Whether covered or not by the press, it has no substance-It detracts from real reporting and the real business of government, but both politicians and the media make sure to engage in the activity each year

Posted by Beck Lomax | Report as abusive