President Obama Pardons Two Turkeys for Thanksgiving: Cobbler and Gobbler

Celebrity News Nov. 21, 2012 AT 4:00PM
US President Barack Obama gestures during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) on November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama gestures during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) on November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Two turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler are going to have a much happier Thanksgiving than most of their kind this time of year.

The feathered twosome are the beneficiaries of a long-running White House Thanksgiving tradition, in which the President of the United States pardons a turkey from the national meal.

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"You know, they say that life is all about second chances. And this November, I could not agree more," recently re-elected President Barack Obama joked during a Wednesday Nov. 21 ceremony in the Rose Garden. "So in the spirit of the season, I have one more gift to give. And it goes to a pair of turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler. The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward."

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The holiday tradition of "pardoning" a turkey at the White House stretches back to the days of Abraham Lincoln, said to be egged on by his son, Tad; but in 2012, Americans voted for the turkey to save via special Facebook page.

"Now, I joke, but -- but for the first time in our history, the winners of the White House turkey pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote," said Obama, joined at the ceremony by daughters Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11. (Cobbler was the first bird to be pardoned, with Gobbler also spared in case his pal can't fulfill his duties.)

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Obama, 51, noted that his daughters would tag along with him to a local food bank later in the day on Wednesday.

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