Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkey

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama pardoned two turkeys in an annual Thanksgiving rite on Wednesday, saying he wanted to offer the birds a second chance.

“They say life is full of second chances, and this November I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment,” a smiling Obama said in one of several lighthearted references to his re-election this month to a second term.

Cobbler, the newly designated national turkey, and his alternate, Gobbler, received a reprieve.

“The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward!” Obama said in a reference to his campaign slogan of “Forward.”

Obama noted that Cobbler and Gobbler were selected by the American people, who cast their votes for the national Thanksgiving turkey on the White House Facebook page.

“Once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it,” Obama said, referring to the New York Times blogger who correctly predicted the president’s decisive victory in the Electoral College.

Accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia, Obama waved his hand over Cobbler in a vaguely religious “dispensation,” then laughed as the bird gobbled loudly. Obama and Sasha petted the turkey. Malia did not.

“Congratulations Cobbler. You’re going to have a great life,” Obama said.

The 19-week-old, 40-pound turkeys are from Rockingham County, Va. They will live at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, along with last year’s birds, Liberty and Peace.

Thanks to the American people, “the only Cobbler that will be on the plates” of a Thanksgiving dinner is a pie, Obama said.

On a more serious note, Obama asked Americans to remember those in the Northeast who lost their homes, possessions and loved ones to Hurricane Sandy. Obama, who toured New York and New Jersey after the storm, said he has seen much destruction “but I have yet to find a broke spirit.”

The tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House started with President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read