Gobble, gobble. Obama pardons a turkey named Popcorn

McClatchy InteractiveNovember 27, 2013 


President Barack Obama flanked with daughters Sasha, on his left, and Malia, pardons the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey Popcorn during the annual event on the North Portico of the White House in Washington.


President Barack Obama may have said it best when he said this Wednesday abut the annual U.S. tradition that is the turkey pardon:

"The office of the presidency -- the most powerful position in the world -- brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities," Obama said. "This is not one of them."

And with that Obama took five minutes the day before Thanksgiving to pardon a turkey named Popcorn as part of the 66th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation.

This year, Americans once again decided which of the two turkeys would become the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey by casting a vote for #TeamCaramel or #TeamPopcorn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Popcorn and its alternate, Carmel, both 20-week old, approximately 38-pound turkeys, were hatched and raised near Badger, Minnesota. 

"After weeks of vocal practice and prepping for the cameras, the two tributes, Caramel and Popcorn went head-to-head together for America's vote as top gobbler," Obama said. "The competition was stiff, but we can officially declare that Popcorn is the winner -- proving that even a turkey with a funny name can find a place in politics. As for Caramel, he's sticking around, and he's already busy raising money for his next campaign."

Wednesday's event was moved from the Rose Garden to the North Portico, where Obama was safely out of the wind and rain, but sadly the throngs of journalists were not. He was flanked by his daughters, Malia and Sasha. Popcorn was milling around too, but Carmel was no where to be seen. 

"Generally speaking, Thanksgiving is a bad day to be a turkey," Obama said. "Especially at a house with two dogs."

The turkeys will be driven to George Washington's s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, where they will remain during the holiday season. Then they will then travel to their permanent home at Morven Park's Turkey Hill, the historic turkey farm located at the home of former Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis in Leesburg, Va.

"Happy Thanksgiving, everybody," Obama told the crowd as he left. "Get out of the rain."

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