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Obama pardons turkey after Facebook poll

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 21st, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President Obama pardoned and saved not one, but two turkeys from the dinner table this year. He also left the weighty executive decision up to a Facebook poll.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Running a nationwide poll on Facebook, Obama let the public decide which of the two turkeys would become the official Thanksgiving dinner. The competition was between "Cobbler" and "Gobbler." One would see a comfortable life of retirement on a sanctuary, while the other would see the presidential oven. 

Cobbler emerged victorious, gathering 2,513 "likes" on Facebook to Gobbler's 2,230. That was enough to send Cobbler to the sanctuary and Gobbler to the kitchen.

However, President Obama wasn't done with the spectacle.

After pardoning Cobbler and sending the turkey on its way to the animal sanctuary at Mt. Vernon, next to the historic home of George Washington, President Obama then pardoned Gobbler too.

Obama explained that he believed in second chances as he pardoned Gobbler.

Now two birds, not one, will live the rest of their natural lives in the sanctuary.

The President then continued in his Thanksgiving address to reflect on the victims of Hurricane [Superstorm] Sandy and those serving in the military that could not be with their families this year.

He also mentioned that two additional turkeys, would not be pardoned, but would instead be sent to a local food bank for delivery to needy families.

Despite the very public presidential pardons, the President will still be enjoying some turkey on Thursday.

According to historians, the first presidential pardon for a turkey came from Abraham Lincoln, who pardoned a Christmas turkey at the request of his son who felt sorry for the animal, which he had made into a pet. Lincoln had a reputation for spoiling his children. The president even took the time to write out an official pardon for the animal.

Astoundingly, the turkey, named Jack, was then given full run of the White House thanks to the doting president.

The next official pardon came from President Kennedy who let a 55-pound turkey fattened just for the purpose, go free saying "We'll just let this one grow."

This fact is contrary to popular belief that President Truman was the first to pardon a turkey. There is no historical documentation to substantiate the claim, which has become a popular urban legend.

Presidents Clinton and Bush W, also pardoned their turkeys. There is no requirement, of course, that the presidents do so, however it has become an occasion for them to obtain some publicity and to extend well wishes to the American people on the occasion of Thanksgiving.

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