November 26th, 2008
09:36 AM ET
6 months ago

President Bush readies more pardons

Scenes from a pardon, circa 2006.
Scenes from a pardon, circa 2006.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush will grant clemency this morning in a special Rose Garden ceremony to two distinguished White House guests: The National Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Every president since Harry Truman has pardoned a turkey in the days before Thanksgiving. The public votes on names for a pair of the birds on the White House Web site: this year's choices include Yam and Jam, and Roost and Run.

Watch how the Thanksgiving turkeys spend the night before their presidential pardon

CNN will have live coverage of the turkey pardoning ceremony during the 10 am ET hour.

The two unnamed turkeys began their road to the White House in Iowa, naturally, at the Ellsworth at the Hill family farm.

Raucous caucusing in a flock of 4,500 poults resulted in 13 turkeys rising to the top of the pile. The Hills chose two toms (male turkeys), who seemed to poll consistently well in the likeability category (for their strutting, fanning and preening) to “represent” the farm in the Rose Garden today.

The lucky birds - one, the official Thanksgiving turkey, the other an alternate - spent the night at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel two blocks from the White House. Their stay included room service, a special meal prepared by the executive chef, and mini-bar stocked with - of course - Wild Turkey.

Like the Thanksgiving holiday, the Hill farm is a family affair. Paul Hill is the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation; he and his wife Mary will officially present the turkeys to President Bush. Nathan Hill, Paul’s son - along with his wife, Betsy and two sons Collin and Conner - raised the special flock of turkeys.

You won’t want to miss anchor Betty Nguyen’s interview with the Hills on CNN Newsroom, which airs 9 to 11 am every weekday.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. chuck

    How can a CROOK pardon anyone or a bird? The poor bird will get a crooked pardon.

    November 26, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  2. Cathy in Vermont

    At least he did not do it at the meat packing plant with turkeys being slaughtered behind him. It says something that Bush 2 has more sense than Palin.

    November 26, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Linda In MS

    Free Edwin Edwards!

    November 26, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  4. Sue

    How I wish the Democrats had the fortitude to protect our way of life and impeach Bush and Cheney for war crimes. Waterboarding is a war crime, they have admitted to it, and have to be prosecuted. Just what is the problem? Bush's approval rating is non-existent; America wants justice, and the Dems do what? Form a commission. Please. Talk about shredding the Constitution...this is abhorrent to all of us who love freedom.

    November 26, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  5. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    What an IDIOT!!!!!!!!

    November 26, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  6. Senator Cleghorn

    Bill Clinton pardoned a number of "turkeys", Marc Rich amongst them. Bush is not in that league as yet, but there's still time.

    November 26, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. Ken in NC

    Three Turkey's, two being pardoned by the third. Now that's news CNN.

    November 26, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  8. pardon me?

    He's pardoning two turkeys? You mean Cheney and Rumsfeld?

    November 26, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. Fred in SC

    I'm not going to pardon our turkey. We're going to eat that delicious sucker. LOL.

    November 26, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  10. Anonymous

    bush is a turkey....hopefully no one pardons him.

    November 26, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  11. Sharon G

    Yeah, the turkey gets a pardon while our border agents rot in prison. Shame on you George Bush! Guess this turkey was a drug dealer.

    November 26, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. mark

    How many more turkeys will Bush pardon? Are Scooter and the other crooks next?

    November 26, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  13. KJL

    The turkeys President Bush pardons are a lot more likely to survive Thanksgiving and Christmas than Sarah Palin's. I'm sure hers went from the photo op to the chopper.

    November 26, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Jim in Saint Johns, Florida

    Perhaps President Bush will pardon CNN for a lack of objective journalism.

    November 26, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. S Callahan

    lol Yam and Jam have to stay! Someone put great thought into naming them! lol

    November 26, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. steve

    I KNEW he was goign to preemptively pardon Rumsfeld! Oh, wait a minute...

    November 26, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  17. Marian from Canada

    This is a rather disgusting headline and story when you have two border guards incarcerated unjustly - Ramos and Campion, and while yesterday, pardons, etc. were granted and Ramos and Campion wre not included.
    marian from Canada

    November 26, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. Nick

    I wonder if it'll be on Potus08. Since I work, I tend to miss it, and while kinda goofy and unimportant, it's still heartwarming.

    November 26, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  19. Bush begs for lethal Injection

    Must be nice to be president!!

    ..and get away with ...Killing and Stealing !!!

    It's a great message for future generations...!!!

    November 26, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  20. Tim

    He runs amuck amuck amuck.......
    Eight years of criminal activity and pardons for all.....yayyyy...

    November 26, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Sid----Texas

    This years headline should read "President pardons fellow turkey".

    November 26, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  22. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    You know the expression, "Pardon me?"

    Well, he'll probably try to pardon himself for war crimes!

    November 26, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. C Beale

    One turkey pardoning another...

    November 26, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  24. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I believe we are all waiting for Bush's pardon of Dick Cheney for crimes he "might" have committed during his vice-presidency.

    Mores the pity in that where there is smoke, there is fire. Dick Cheney is probably gulity of various violations of the law and the Constitution.

    As a law biding citizen I am offended that justice will be left unserved.

    November 26, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  25. Paul

    For the 61st time, Washington hosted a traditional Thanksgiving event – the pardoning of the White House turkey. Unfortunately, he will still be allowed to serve out the last 2 months of his term.

    November 26, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
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