The annual turkey pardon is a silly tradition, and President Obama knows it. On Wednesday, before pardoning turkeys named Tater and Tot, Obama summed up his feelings about this particular duty.
“It is my great privilege — well, it’s my privilege — actually, let’s just say it’s my job to grant them clemency this afternoon,” Obama said.
Not in attendance for the president’s final turkey pardoning ceremony were first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, who gamely laughed alongside their father last year. So instead, the president’s nephews Austin and Aaron Robinson stood by for what Obama called his “corny-copia of dad jokes about turkeys.”
And thus began a pun-fest for the ages. Here’s a list of President Obama’s groaners from this year’s pardoning ceremony:
- “Actually [Sasha and Malia] just couldn’t take my jokes anymore. They were fed up.”
- “What I haven’t told them yet is we are going to do this every year from now on. No cameras, just us, every year. No way I’m cutting this habit cold turkey.”
- “Tater is here in a backup role just in case Tot can’t fulfill his duties. So he’s sort of like the vice turkey. We’re working on getting him a pair of aviator glasses.”
- “I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren’t so lucky. Who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom. Who met their fate with courage and sacrifice and proved that they weren’t chicken.”
- [After touting positive economic indicators and the low uninsured rate] “That’s worth gobbling about.”
- “We should also make sure everyone has something to eat on Thanksgiving. Of course, except the turkeys, because they’re already stuffed.”
- “When somebody at your table tells you that you’ve been hogging all of the side dishes, you can’t have any more, I hope that you respond with a creed that sums up the spirit of a hungry people: ‘Yes, we cran.’ “
- “Look, I know there are some bad ones in here, but this is the last time I’m doing this, so we’re not leaving any room for leftovers.”
- “And now from the Rose Garden, Tater and Tot will go to their new home at Virginia Tech, which is admittedly a bit hokey.” (The Hokies are the Virginia Tech mascot.)
- “And so let’s get on with the pardoning. Because it’s Wednesday afternoon and everyone knows that Thanksgiving traffic can put people in a foul mood.”