Check out some funny trivia about presidential turkey pardons.
From Denny: It's the American tradition every Thanksgiving to pardon a turkey - and now his understudy too. Can you imagine being a turkey understudy - wondering if you were going to get the axe for the dinner table?
President Obama petted Apple on the back of the neck and the bird clucked contentedly like he realized he was pardoned. As Obama walked away from Apple he told the turkey, "All right, have a good life, man."
Said President Obama at the pardoning ceremony, "Now, for the record, let me say that it feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November." He was referencing the Democratic Party beating in the November 2010 midterm elections. The country raged against the incumbents, throwing them out whether they had done a good job or not - because of their anger against Obama for doing so little to get America back to work through innovative and bold measures.
The Obama administration has barely dipped their toes in the water when it comes to a committment to the economy and creating jobs by the millions. This administration is known for being every bit as political as the former Bush administration that also did little for the majority of Americans. Both White Houses spent far too much time "spinning" and marketing the truth rather than the hard work of governing the country.
While Obama pardons this year's Thanksgiving turkeys the polls are saying the public - and especially his own party - will not pardon him or reelect him to a second term.
How were these turkeys selected to be pardoned? It's a competition of the turkeys appearing before judges to "strut their stuff." Talk about a competition where the stakes are really high - you get to live if you win.
This year's turkeys are named Apple and Cider and they sure breathed a sigh of relief after receiving their pardon. These 21 week old birds are some seriously big birds, weighing in at 45 pounds each. They hail from near Modesto, California, but will retire to the former President George Washington's estate, Mount Vernon, in Virginia.
If you and your family are in the mood to make the Turkey Pilgrimage to Mount Vernon, Apple and Cider will be glad to visit with you until January 6th. Then they retire from the public and begin their blessed retirement.
Some of Apple and Cider's predecessors got to be grand marshals in a Disneyland Thanksgiving parade. What a gig for a couple of funny birds. No comment from Disneyland why Apple and Cider were dissed for this year's parade.
The Turkey Presentation dates back to President Harry Truman - only he didn't pardon the poor birds - he ate them - and so did President Eisenhower and President Johnson.
By 1963, it was President John Kennedy who, upon being presented with a live bird with a sign hanging around his neck "Good Eatin' Mr. President," said, "Let's just keep him." When you have young kids you just know they were saying things in his ear like, "You don't eat your friends."
Actually, the formal pardoning tradition is supposed to have begun with President George Bush 41 back in 1989 as he was the first President to have tied the word "pardon" to the turkey presentation ceremony. "He will not end up on anyone’s dinner table – not this guy," said Mr. Bush.
Apparently, being seen side by side on the dais with a bird brain that possesses the IQ of a bar of soap is not a President's favorite gig. The word is that President Nixon thought it so undignified that he avoided the ceremony altogether. President Carter sure didn't want to be caught dead next to a turkey so he handed off the "honor" to First Lady Roslynn or Vice President Mondale. I guess he didn't mind his wife or VP looking ridiculous.
A couple of funny situations is when President Reagan was pardoning his turkey and the turkey got stage fright, flapped his wings nervously and ran away from the Presidnet making a glug glug sound. Reagan just laughed, finding it all amusing.
President George Bush 43 pardoned a turkey one year and the animal pecked at his crotch. And yes, a photographer caught that special moment between bird and President. Now there's a snapshot for the family photo album.
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