Every thanksgiving it’s the same old story, the President “pardons” a perfectly good turkey. This bit may have been cute and amusing when Harry Truman first did it 60 years ago (doubtful) but by now it has been run into the ground worse than Jimmy Carter jokes on this blog. To further illustrate my disapproval, I will fisk Ben Fuller’s Washington Post story describing the ceremony:
The turkey at the White House really draws a crowd. When President Bush stepped into the Rose Garden on Tuesday, he found visitors in every coveted seat, reporters standing three rows deep and staff members craning for just one good glimpse.
Liberal bias!!! Ben Fuller is trying to make it sound like the turkey everyone came to see is President Bush! He must be positioning himself for a job at one of those Soros funded online newspapers.
Bush granted his yearly pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey, named “May,” and a backup turkey who went unseen, who goes by “Flower.”
Why a back up turkey? Are they afraid the first turkey will commit suicide before it can be spared?
The names were chosen in an online poll that drew more than 28,000 votes. It was close; people also liked “Wish and Bone,” and “Wing and Prayer.”
Don’t blame me, I voted for “Lame and Ass”.
"They're certainly better than the names the vice president suggested, which was `lunch' and `dinner,'" Bush said.
Oh great, now even Bush is doing Cheney jokes. Next I suppose he’ll do a press conference in a Hitler moustache.
Bush and the bird coexisted peacefully, although the turkey interrupted the president three times with gobbles, much to the delight of the audience.
He should have rescinded the pardon after the second gobble.
After the pardon, the president petted the bird gently and then encouraged some young children to gather around him and do the same.
This would have been the perfect time to say: “On second thought, turkeys are for eatin’. Let’s chow down, kids.”
The White House made clear that the national turkey and its alternate were raised under "normal feeding" conditions. The one exception is when the birds were given some extra interaction with people so that they would be ready for their big moment at the White House.
Interestingly enough, this is exactly how Jimmy Carter was prepared for his big moment at the White House.
"May they live the rest of their lives in blissful gobbling," Bush said.
Wow, you were a White House speech writer? What would you say is the most memorable line you ever wrote for the President?
The president and first lady Laura Bush, meanwhile, flew off to the presidential retreat in Camp David, Md., for the holiday week.
No word on their Thanksgiving menu, but I bet it includes turkey. And finally, the photo and caption: President Bush pardons May, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. Right, holding the bird, is Ryan Downes. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
A little googling reveals that Ryan Downes is the son-in-law of National Turkey Foundation Chairman, Ted Seger. I imagine a conversation something like this:
Uh, sir, I know that you’re Chairman of the National Turkey Foundation and I’m just the guy who married your daughter, but um, isn’t the NTF supposed to be promoting the EATING of turkeys, and not the PARDONING of turkeys?
Shut up and bring out the bird, meathead.