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President Obama Pardons 'Apple' And 'Cider' From Thanksgiving Table Duty

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It’s a peculiar tradition; selecting turkeys, shipping them off to the White House, and watching our president pardon them from any responsibility they may have to serve as Thanksgiving dinner. But nonetheless, this morning at the 63rd anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, President Obama, joined by daughters Malia and Sasha, pardoned “Apple” and “Cider.”

The two 21-week-old, 45-pound turkeys were named by schoolchildren and raised on Foster Farms Wellsford Ranch just outside Modesto, California.

And now that they have been let off the hook, they’ll be driven to George Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia where Apple will be on display until Jan. 6, 2010. In the past, these turkeys would have been sent to live at the rather unfortunately named Frying Pan Park, but PETA claimed the birds were dying from the harsh conditions there, which prompted a switch to Disney in 2005. Traditionally the birds would serve as honorary grand marshals of Disneyland’s Thanksgiving Day parade, but no word on why these two birds won’t be meeting the mouseketeers this year.

Obama was in good spirits, and joked about the recent election, “Now, for the record, let me say that it feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November.”

We’re pretty happy about it too!

Editor’s note: Check out The Onion’s take on the Turkey Pardon in a video below the jump. (And yes, the image above is a mock-up from that parody video)

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