Obama grants 'amnesty' to Thanksgiving turkeys



US President Barack Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey 'Cheese' during the annual ceremony in the Grand Foyer of the White House.
President Obama managed to get in a few digs at his critics during the annual White House Turkey Pardon on Wednesday, joking that some would say the president gave 'amnesty' to the pardoned birds.
With a smirk on his face and a chuckle in his voice, Obama made reference to his recent executive action on immigration, which was widely criticized by Republicans.
"I'm here to announce what I am sure will be the most talked about executive action this month," said Obama. "Today I am taking an action fully within my legal authority, the same kind of actions taken by Republican and Democratic presidents before me ... I know some will call this amnesty."
Obama was accompanied by his two daughters Malia and Sasha, who appeared beyond bored throughout the ceremony. Before signing a proclamation to pardon the turkeys, he tried to get them in the holiday spirit but they had none of it.
See Sasha and Malia bursting with teen angst in the video below (ceremony begins at 29:05).

The President pardoned the turkeys, named Mac and Cheese, whose fate was voted on by the American public (although they were both pardoned, Cheese won America's vote). This year, people were able to vote on Twitter using #TeamMac or #TeamCheese.
 
Obama called the tradition puzzling but said that he enjoyed the yearly event, after referencing a recent article by the Washington Post that criticized the tradition.
"With all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office, it's nice to just say Happy Thanksgiving," Obama concluded.




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