Full Text November 23, 2011: President Barack Obama Pardons Thanksgiving Turkeys Peace & Liberty

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Happy Thanksgiving!

President Obama Pardons Peace & Liberty (the Turkeys)

Source: WH, 11-23-11
President Obama Pardons Liberty

President Barack Obama, with daughters, Malia and Sasha, pardons ‘Liberty’, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in a ceremony on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2011. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

As promised, this morning, President Obama pardoned two more turkeys — Liberty and Peace. The ceremony was held on the North Portico of the White House, and the president received a bit of help of his daughters, Sasha and Malia.

This year’s turkeys are both 19-weeks old and weigh 45 pounds. They were raised by a group of students from Willmar High School in Minnesota.

To kick off the pardon, President Obama said:

Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American. It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company. But it’s also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. They don’t have it so good.

The rare exception, of course, are the two birds who’ve joined me today. Now, is Peace here, or just Liberty? Just Liberty is here, but Peace is back here somewhere. Some of you may know that recently I’ve been taking a series of executive actions that don’t require Congressional approval. Well, here’s another one. We can’t wait to pardon these turkeys. Literally. Otherwise they’d end up next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing.

He also remarked on the special training provided to these birds for their big moment:

Now, I’m told that in order to prepare Liberty and Peace for their big day, the students exposed them to loud noises and flash bulbs so that they’d be ready to face the White House press corps. This is actually true. They also received the most important part of their media training, which involves learning how to gobble without really saying anything.

So Liberty is ready for his turn in the spotlight. And after he finishes a round of cable hits and a few Sunday shows, he’s going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon — the same place where George Washington spent his golden years.

Want to know more about turkey pardons? The White House Turkey Pardon definitive history.

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