News / USA

Turkeys Dodge Thanksgiving Fate with Presidential Pardon

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, carry on Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," White House, Washington, Nov. 27, 2013.
President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, carry on Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," White House, Washington, Nov. 27, 2013.
Reuters
Taking a break from weighty matters of state and pitched battles with political foes, President Barack Obama exercised the lighter side of his authority Wednesday by sparing two magnificent turkeys the fate of becoming someone's Thanksgiving dinner.
 
"The office of the presidency, the most powerful position in the world, brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities," he said as one of the turkeys strutted around the stage next to him. "This is not one of them."
 
The pardoning event, an annual ritual, took place under the awning of the White House's North Portico as a small crowd squeezed together to escape a pelting rain, providing material for wags in Washington.
 
Cable television network C-SPAN, best known for its live coverage of Congress, boasted that it was offering "gobble to gobble coverage" of the ceremony.
 
The president announced that, after the public voted, a turkey named Popcorn was declared winner of the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey competition over his rival Caramel.
 
Popcorn, an almost 2-foot tall, 40-pound fowl with a blue-tinged head, fanned his tail feathers spectacularly as he strolled about the stage under the watchful eyes of several minders.
 
Obama, who has said his ability to get elected to the White House despite his Kenyan family last name is a testament to America's tolerance and diversity, displayed a politician's appreciation for both the winner and loser of the contest.
 
"The competition was stiff, but we can officially declare that Popcorn is the winner, proving ... that even a turkey with a funny name can find a place in politics," Obama said.
 
"As for Caramel," he added, "he is sticking around and he's already busy raising money for his next campaign."
 
Americans have been sending presidents turkeys for Thanksgiving since the 19th century, the White House said.
 
George H.W. Bush was the first president to officially pardon a bird in 1989.
 
Popcorn and Caramel were both raised on a farm in Minnesota. After the pardon, the birds will be on display just outside the nation's capital at Mount Vernon, the estate that first U.S. president, George Washington, called home.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid