‘No fowl game’: Biden pardons pair of Thanksgiving turkeys

WASHINGTON — Two lucky turkeys named Chocolate and Chip were killed Monday, but not from hearing about President Biden’s favorite topic of late: the Democrats’ stronger-than-expected showing in the midterm elections.

“The votes have come in. They have been counted and verified. There’s no ballot stuffing, there’s no fowl game,” Mr. Biden said at the traditional pre-Thanksgiving turkey pardon at the White House, which is never complete without a series of holiday-themed puns.

The only “red wave” this holiday season, Mr Biden said, would be if his German shepherd “knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table”. (The dog, Commander, monitored the South Lawn event from the White House balcony.)

The turkey apology ceremony was a break from weeks of campaigning in the United States and international diplomacy overseas. But in a sign of where national attention might be shifting, Mr. Biden suggested the turkeys have a bit in common with the 2024 presidential hopefuls.

“They interacted with children to show their softer side,” Mr. Biden said as he described the turkeys’ preparation for the White House visit, which included listening to loud music over the past few days to get them to the loud Audience at Monday’s event to get used. “Sounds like another herd hoping to hit Washington in 2024.”

Though his approval ratings are still low and a possible railroad workers’ strike is on the horizon, the president seems reassured as he deals directly with 46-pound chocolate and 47-pound chip, both from North Carolina.

“Chocolate is my favorite ice cream, but we could have called it chips and science,” Mr. Biden said, referring to the CHIPS and Science Act, a $280 billion investment in American chip manufacturing that Mr. Biden is signing into law this year Has .

Presidents have granted freedom to turkeys since the Kennedy era, although pardons only became a consistent practice when President George HW Bush formalized the process.

The animals were placed on a table next to Mr Biden’s lectern on Monday to receive their presidential pardon.

“Chocolate, forgive yourself. You are pardoned,” Mr. Biden said to the devouring turkey. “Yes you are. Yes. I’m serious.”

“He said, ‘I don’t know, man. You didn’t have to forgive me. I knew I was pardoned,'” Mr. Biden translated, causing laughter from the crowd.

Both turkeys will spend their days on the North Carolina State University campus.

“When we told them they were going to join the wolf pack, they got a little scared,” Mr. Biden said, before adding that it was just the name of the school’s athletic teams.

With winter approaching, however, Mr. Biden is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year, when his administration introduced new travel restrictions just after celebrating Thanksgiving in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to curb the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Two years ago, we couldn’t even safely celebrate Thanksgiving with big family gatherings,” Biden said. “We have new Covid vaccine updates to deal with new variants to protect you and your loved ones so get it today.”