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  • The President: Good afternoon,

  • everybody.

  • Please have a seat.

  • Normally we do this outside.

  • The weather is not cooperating today.

  • But I want to, first of all, on behalf of Malia and Sasha,

  • wish everybody an early Happy Thanksgiving.

  • I am here to announce what I'm sure will be

  • the most talked-about executive action this month.

  • (laughter) Today,

  • I'm taking an action fully within my legal authority

  • -- (laughter) -- the same kind of action taken

  • by Democrats and Republican presidents before me --

  • to spare the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese,

  • from a terrible and delicious fate.

  • (laughter)

  • I want to thank Joel Brandenberger,

  • the President of the National Turkey Federation; Gary Cooper,

  • its chairman; and his son Cole Cooper,

  • who personally raised Mac and Cheese.

  • Give them a big round of applause.

  • (applause)

  • Cole is keeping a pretty careful eye

  • there on Cheese.

  • (laughter)

  • Uh-oh, he's getting pretty excited about this.

  • Thanks to all those who voted online to pick

  • the official National Thanksgiving Turkey.

  • Cheese wants you to know that he won.

  • (laughter)

  • Mac, the alternate, is not so badly off either.

  • Let's face it -- if you're a turkey,

  • and you're named after a side dish

  • -- (laughter) --

  • your chances of escaping Thanksgiving dinner

  • are pretty low.

  • So these guys are well ahead of the curve.

  • They really beat the odds.

  • It is important to know

  • that turkeys have always had powerful allies.

  • Many of you know that Benjamin Franklin once wrote,

  • "I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen

  • as the representative of our country.

  • He is a bird of bad moral character...the turkey is,

  • in comparison, a much more respectable bird."

  • (laughter)

  • I think these two turkeys

  • would agree with Mr. Franklin.

  • And they'll get to live out the rest of their days, respectably,

  • at a Virginia estate with 10,000 {sic} acres of roaming space.

  • I know some will call this amnesty

  • -- (laughter) --

  • but don't worry, there's plenty of turkey to go around.

  • (laughter)

  • In fact, later this afternoon, Michelle,

  • Malia and Sasha and I will take two turkeys that didn't make

  • the cut to a local food pantry that works hard year-round

  • to make sure that folks in our Nation's Capital

  • have food to eat and clothes to wear.

  • I want to thank Jaindl Turkey Farm in Pennsylvania for

  • donating once again those birds for -- it's, in fact,

  • been six years in a row that they've made these contributions

  • -- and for making Thanksgiving dinner possible for some of our

  • fellow Americans.

  • Finally, The Washington Post recently questioned the wisdom

  • of the whole turkey pardon tradition.

  • "Typically on the day before Thanksgiving," the story went,

  • "the man who makes decisions about wars, virus outbreaks,

  • terrorism cells and other dire matters of state,

  • chooses to pardon a single turkey ... plus an alternate.

  • " Tell me about it.

  • It is a little puzzling that I do this every year.

  • (laughter) But I will say that I enjoy it because

  • with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office,

  • it's nice once in a while just to say: Happy Thanksgiving.

  • And this is a great excuse to do it.

  • Tomorrow is a pretty special moment when we give thanks for

  • the people we love, and where we're mindful of the incredible

  • blessings that we have received.

  • We remember the folks who can't spend their holiday at home,

  • especially the brave men and women in uniform

  • who help keep our country secure.

  • And we celebrate a holiday that, at its best,

  • is about what makes this nation great -- and that's its

  • generosity and its openness, and,

  • as President Franklin Roosevelt once said, our commitment,

  • "to make a country in which no one is left out."

  • Now, because I know everyone wants to get out of town,

  • Mac and Cheese included

  • -- (laughter) --

  • it is time for me to engage in the official act.

  • So let's see what we can do here with Cheese.

  • Come on, girls.

  • (laughter)

  • All right, are we ready?

  • Cheese, you are hereby pardoned

  • from the Thanksgiving dinner table.

  • (laughter)

  • Congratulations.

  • (applause)

  • He looks pretty happy about it.

  • (laughter)

  • All right, if you want to take Cheese down,

  • that's okay.

  • (laughter)

  • I will tell you, though,

  • turkeys don't have the best-looking heads.

  • (laughter)

  • You know what I'm saying?

  • You think they're beautiful?

  • Mr. Cooper: I think

  • they're beautiful -- they're red, white and blue --

  • The President: There's a patriotism

  • element to it.

  • (laughter)

  • Absolutely.

  • (To Malia and Sasha) --

  • Do you want to pet him?

  • Malia: No.

  • (laughter)

  • The President: Thank you.

  • Good to see you.

  • Appreciate you.

  • Thank you, everybody.

  • Happy Thanksgiving.

  • (applause)

The President: Good afternoon,

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President Obama Pardons the National Turkey

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    稲葉白兎 posted on 2015/02/01
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