Obama pardons turkeys in annual Thanksgiving ritual
President Obama pardoned two turkeys in an annual White House ritual, saying he wanted to offer the birds a second chance before the US holiday of Thanksgiving.
In a reference to his re-election earlier this month, Obama said: "They say life is full of second chances, and this November I couldn't agree more with that sentiment."
Cobbler, the newly designated national turkey, and his alternate, Gobbler, received a reprieve, the Telegraph reported.
"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 19-week-old, 40-pound turkeys are from Virginia. They 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.
The tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House started with President John F. Kennedy in 1963.