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President Obama pardons two turkeys

Posted by Jason Tuohey  November 24, 2010 12:44 PM

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Thanksgiving is not a memorable time for turkeys. But for Apple and Cider, the holiday was their salvation.

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The two turkeys were pardoned by President Barack Obama at the White House’s Rose Garden on Wednesday as part of the annual tradition where turkeys are spared by the president during Thanksgiving.

“Today, I have the awesome responsibility of granting a presidential pardon to a pair of turkeys,” Obama said, his daughters Sasha and Malia by his side.

“Now, for the record, let me say that it feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November,” the president added, making reference to the Democratic Party’s recent defeats in the Nov. 2 elections.

The feathery duo come from the Foster Farms Wellsford Ranch near Modesto, Calif.
Twenty five turkeys out of about 20,000 born at the farm this summer were selected for a final competition to receive the pardons. The finalists strutted their stuff in front of a panel of judges, who selected Apple and Cider as the winners.

“It’s kind of like a turkey version of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” Obama said, “except the stakes for the contestants was much higher.”

Since 2005, the pardoned turkeys were taken to Disneyland, the Associated Press reported. But this year, the destination is George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, where Apple and Cider will spend the rest of their lives.

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