From the White House Blog:
Since 1947, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation has presented a turkey to the President. Each Thanksgiving, the President “pardons” that turkey, ensuring that the bird gets to spend the rest of its days living on a farm in Virginia. Today, President Obama celebrated the 67th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by pardoning two 20-week old, 48-pound turkeys. And just like last year, the American public decided which of the two turkeys – Mac or Cheese – would become the National Thanksgiving Turkey by casting a vote for #TeamMac or #TeamCheese online.
During the ceremony, the President reminded us why we Americans look forward to Thanksgiving each year:
“Tomorrow is a pretty special moment when we give thanks for the people we love, and where we're mindful of the incredible blessings that we have received.”
President Obama has pardoned a turkey every year since he took office. However, during his first turkey pardon in 2009, Malia and Sasha had to intervene on behalf of Courage, that year’s winning turkey. On that occasion, President Obama said, “Thanks to the intervention of Malia and Sasha -- because I was ready to eat this sucker – Courage will also be sparred this terrible and delicious fate.”
This year, President Obama made sure to mention that he thought the turkeys looked “pretty happy” about their avoidance of their delicious fate.