President Bush spared "May" and "Flower" Tuesday morning.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Adhering to a tradition now entering its 60th year, President Bush on Tuesday delivered a full presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey in the Rose Garden at the White House.
He also announced the names of the bird and its alternate, which were chosen by people who voted online. They will officially be called May and Flower, the president said.
"That's certainly better than the names the vice president suggested: Lunch and Dinner," Bush joked.
On a more serious note, the president reminded Americans they have much to be thankful for this holiday season.
"This Thanksgiving we are grateful for a harvest big enough to feed us all and millions more. We're grateful for citizens who reach out to those who struggle, from neighbors in need to the strangers they've never met," he said.
"We're grateful for working Americans, who've given us the longest period of uninterrupted job creation on record and a prosperity that lifts our citizens.
"And we're grateful for one blessing in particular: the men and women of the United States military. They've worn proudly the uniform of our country. They have offered their lives in our defense, and each year thousands more volunteer to join their noble ranks and to keep us safe.
"And so on this Thanksgiving, we keep their families and their loved ones in our prayers and in our thoughts," Bush said.
The turkeys chosen for this year's honor came from a farm in Dubois, Ind., according to the White House Web site, and were raised under the direction of National Turkey Federation Chairman Ted Seger.
After the Rose Garden ceremony, the turkeys will be flown first-class to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where they will be the grand marshals of the Disney Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Web site said.
Afterward, they'll live at Mickey's Country House in Magic Kingdom Park.
"May they live the rest of their lives in blissful gobbling and may all Americans enjoy a holiday filled with love and peace," the president said.
I am shocked that Bush pardoned the turkeys, but then he did pardon the turkey, Lewis Scooter Libby.
I was going to write the same thing, until I scrolled down and saw that somebody beat me to it. So all I need to say is "ditto" to AKC from Roanoke
60 years!?! Last I checked H.W Bush was the first to "officialy" pardon a turkey in the 80's, check out http://www.snopes.com, they even did the research for you...
I was glad to see that he didn't pardon Turkey for the genocide in Armenia just to protect his failed war policy in Iraq.
Will the turkeys return the favor?
Lets all be thankful that these two turkeys only have a year left.
Something tells me that this is just one of many pardons to come as he will have to pardon his entire cabinet once they are all convicted of the many crimes they have committed.
Your history is faulty. The "Tradition" of "pardoning" the turkey actually didn't start until 1989, under the first Pres. Bush. (Snopes has the full story, BTW.)
As for the names, I would have expected no less from a man who hides his not inconsiderable shortcomings by wrapping himself in the flag.
Forget the turkeys Georgie..........pardon Ramon and Compeon.
SEE! That the problem with liberals. No sense of humor. Of course, why should anyone think that a liberal even has a sense of humor? They make no sense at all. As far as naming the turkeys how about PETA and PETA Jr.
The two turkeys pardoned are called Libby and Rove.
Better names for these turkeys would be Dick and George.
Does Cheney's recipe include waterboarding the turkeys before roasting?
And here I thought the names of the turkeys were Rowe and Cheney...
The turkey's should be named George and Dick...
"Bush Pardons Turkeys; Turkeys Take Advisory Roles on Giuliani Campaign"
So, a turkey can be flown first class, but many people in this country still live in utter poverty... What does that say about the United States?
At least Cheney didn't shoot them...wait, Turkeys make lousy hunting partners.
Oh, c'mon. Lunch and Dinner. It's funny. Lame, sure, but chuckle worthy.
Some people just can't look past the partisan politics.
I think a more appropriate name for a turkey would be Obama or Hillary.
Amazing, I placed this comment before anyone else, and it was taken down by the Clinton News Network. However, they leave the comment by Gary in Detroit, which was identical except it referenced Bush. How blatantly biased of them. Lets see if the News Gestapos leave it up this time!
This is more his speed anyway, just keep him away from anything meaninful and anything that he can break.
This is just the beginning. Bush will be pardoning many more turkeys before he finally surrenders his family throne.
Hey, I'm not a Bush fan, but I thought that was cute.
The turkey's nickname for the Vice President? Dick.
What a morron! This is all this guy can think of to do. Hell, who needs experience, I can do that!
"This Thanksgiving we are grateful for a harvest big enough to feed us all and millions more."??? WHAT!!! Oh yeah, there are no homeless or undernourished people here in America. How out of touch can this guy be???