November 26th, 2008
09:36 AM ET
5 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. Ken in Dallas

    The one time each year George gets to make amends with his own kind.

    November 26, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  2. John of NC

    Now if we could get the turkeys to pardon Bush and Cheney! I guess the real turkey is the economy that they have left for us.

    November 26, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  3. roy

    He's pardoning CHENEY? Oh, a TURKEY! Sorry mistook one for the other.....

    November 26, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Steve Sarratt

    President Bush should pardon the US Border Agents, Compean and Ramos, if he wants to do something with some justice attached.

    November 26, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. Go W.

    I've found one more thing that he did right. yahoo!

    November 26, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. The Weatherman

    I guess President Bush will also pardon all the tukeys that lied about him since he is a decent Christian guy who does not have a need to be a ham on TV every other minute.

    November 26, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Michelle, PA

    Nice little photo op every year I guess. It's just too bad so many other turkeys of the non-feathered variety will get Presidential pardons this year, but it's the nature of the beast I guess.

    November 26, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. Liberal

    Suppose he will use that pardon power on his big, bad self?

    November 26, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  9. Yvette, KY

    Thanks CNN for showing us two turkeys and Paul Hill.

    November 26, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  10. V

    Thats why US is down in trenches. Why cant you report something important. Its the worst economic crisis after depression after all.

    November 26, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Mitch

    Nice to see there weren't other birds being slaughtered behind him during the pardon.

    November 26, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
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