http://www.worldmeets.us/images/obama-turkey-pardon-2012_pic.jpg

President Obama laughs with his daughters, Sasha and Malia, as

he pardons Cobbler, this year's National Thanksgiving Turkey, in

the Rose Garden of the White House, Nov. 21.

 

 

Barack Obama Continues American Tradition of Sparing Turkeys from Oven (Le Point, France)

 

"This year's birds from a farm in Virginia, both plump and white, were transported under police escort to the W, where for two days they were treated with kid gloves. And that's no figure of speech. The turkeys are housed in a suite with views of the White House, are force-fed organic soy and cranberries while gobbling in the rooftop panoramic bar waiting to be presented to Barack Obama on Wednesday."

 

By Correspondent Hélène Vissiere

 

Translated By Pierre Guittard

 

November 21, 2012

 

France - Le Point - Original Article (French)

The W Hotel in Washington is a haven for celebrities. Its luxurious rooms have hosted Elvis Presley, Harrison Ford and Congressional big shots, not to mention Dominique Strauss-Kahn ... But since Monday, its historic ultra-chic clients include high-profile turkeys - real birds - which, thanks to Barack Obama, will not become part of a casserole. As happens every year for Thanksgiving, the president of the United States pardons a turkey at a very formal ceremony with speeches and a benediction, sparing it from ignominiously being stuffed with oysters and put into the oven like 46 million other of its fellows.

 

 

This year's birds from a farm in Virginia, both plump and white, were transported under police escort to the W, where for two days they were treated with kid gloves. And that's no figure of speech. The turkeys are housed in a suite with views of the White House, are force-fed organic soy and cranberries while gobbling in the rooftop panoramic bar waiting to be presented to Barack Obama on Wednesday.

 

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President Kennedy, just three days before his assassination,

decided to spare this turkey - but didn't officially pardon it.

 

To date, 22 birds have been pardoned. According to legend, President Lincoln, the first to have engaged in the exercise, decided to spare the life of a turkey to please his son, who was attached to the animal. In 1963, President Kennedy was presented with a turkey from a farm, and was quoted as saying: "We'll just let this one grow." But it was George H.W. Bush who began the tradition of the "presidential pardon" in 1989. The lucky winner was sent to a peaceful retreat in Virginia called - one couldn't make this up - "Frying Pan Park"!

 

For a time, the pardoned turkeys were sent to Disneyland to participate in its Thanksgiving Parade. Today, the birds end their days in comfort at Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate near the capital. But that doesn't necessarily prevent them from meeting a tragic fate ... Many of these plump animals suffer from diseases related to obesity and die during the year after their reprieve.

Posted by Worldmeets.US

 

http://www.worldmeets.us/images/George-HW-Bush-turkey-pardon_pic.jpg

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush formalized the custom

of pardoning a turkey, which is then permitted to live out the

rest of its natural life, in this case, in a place called Frying Pan

Park in Virginia.

 

How does one select a turkey that will survive - or rather turkeys, since there is always a pair chosen for fear that one of them will fall ill before the big day and fail to fulfill its role? It's all about behavior. The animal must be "imposing, calm, cool and self-possessed," i.e.: "spread its plumage and strut a bit," explained Sherrie Rosenblatt of the National Turkey Federation last year.

 

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SEE ALSO ON THIS:  

Le Figaro, France: Can't Mr. Obama Pardon Anything But Turkeys?!     

Izvestia, Russia: Russell Means Reminded the World of the Real America  

 

For the bird to remain calm when confronted by the paparazzi at the ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, it undergoes training for several weeks, during which it becomes accustomed to camera flashes, noises made by mobile phones and the crowd. The names of the birds to be pardoned in 2012, each weighing a whopping 18 pounds, are kept secret, and will not be revealed until the ceremony. Last year's pardoned turkeys had the pleasant sounding names of Peace and Freedom.

 

CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH VERSION

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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Nov. 21, 6:49pm]