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

‘Come talk to me. Don’t jump, come talk to me’

State Patrol trooper Yaroslav Holodkov just happened to be driving by when he saw a suicidal man.

Marysville educators reach out to a newly traumatized school

Several affected by shootings in 2014 offered to talk with counterparts in Eastern Washington.

Serial killer wannabe admits trying to kill man she met online

She told police she planned to rip out her victim’s heart and eat it — and would continue killing.

Hurry! Target will take your old car seat, but not for long

The seats will be taken apart and the various materials recycled.

Sheriff’s Office receives national recognition

Sheriff accepts award “notable achievements in the field of highway safety” over the past year.

Edmonds-Woodway High School briefly locked down

A student tried to stop a fight and a boy, 16, responded by threatening the student with a knife.

Study considers making it legal to grow marijuana at home

The Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering two scenarios for allowing a minimal number of plants.

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Hot weather takes toll on young Christmas trees

The effect is likely to be felt in the years to come when they would have been cut.

Most Read