November 20th, 2007
02:22 PM ET
13 years ago

Bush pardons two turkeys

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.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. jay, Snellville, GA

    What about the border guards in jail for doing their jobs George? When you gonna pardon them?

    November 20, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Brandon, Tampa, FL

    Aww, I wanted the turkey to be named Lunch and Dinner! IT'S NOT FAIR!

    November 20, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I thought Bush would pardon the rest of the turkeys: Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Craig, Rice, gosh, I could go on forever....

    November 20, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Mohan Embar, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Each year, I keep hoping that this event will raise awareness in some that needlessly ending the lives of creatures who can suffer and feel pain, just like us, is the antithesis of giving Thanks. This hope is coupled with the dismay I feel that people can find a presidential "pardon" like this cute, yet turn a blind eye to the horrific conditions in which their Thanksgiving turkeys are raised and then killed.

    November 20, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Fix it you morons!, Virginia

    I'm ashamed...
    If only Bush had the rocks to pardon the two border patrol agents as quickly as these two turkeys... I guess not. Regardless of political affiliation you may have, and regardless of how you either hate Bush or not, Put all of our crooks -er, politicians feet to the fire and release those two Border Patrol Agents NOW!!!

    November 20, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Turkeys pardoned by a turkey. How ironic...

    November 20, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Ashley, Santa Rosa, CA

    ahhhhh....gotta love Cheney's good old Wyoming humor!

    November 20, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Erik, Austin TX

    Now that the turkeys have been pardoned, I guess Cheney will have to go back to his original plan of eating puppies for Thanksgiving.

    November 20, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Lindsay, Ithaca NY

    They should have been named Scooter and Libby

    November 20, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Mike USMC 95-99

    ohh misleading headline...

    I thought he was pardoing Safavian & Libby again...

    November 20, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Now this is news worthy. In keeping with adminstration tradition pardons were handed out to two more turkeys.

    Happy Hoildays.

    November 20, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. joseph, austin, tx

    How come the turkeys are always white, racism is alive and well.

    November 20, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Greg, NY, NY

    Two turkeys? I didn't know he could pardon himself and the vice president.

    November 20, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Dan, needham MA

    I thought when I saw the headline Bush pardons two turkeys it would be Rove and Cheney!

    November 20, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Juan, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I think Obama or Hillary would have been a more appropriate name for a turkey!

    November 20, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Jean

    Hey, something he's good at!!!

    November 20, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Not to sound rude, but I kinda liked the VP's choice of names for the turkeys.

    Have a joyful Thanksgiving and Happy Holiday Season!

    November 20, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    I would have thought that Bush would have picked "Scooter" and "Libby."

    Maybe next year.

    November 20, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Gorbashov

    Much better than pardoning that traitor Scooter Libby!

    November 20, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. San Marcos, TX

    So he'll withdraw turkeys from the dinner table, but not our troops from Iraq?

    November 20, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. MAI, San Jose, CA

    I'd prefer the two turkeys took over as President and VP instead of the arrangement we have now.

    November 20, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. The Better Person

    No, Dick Cheney is not but, AKC, you are for making such a foolish comment!!

    November 20, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Rebecca; Texas

    I really enjoy this tradition. It has great sentiment . . in such a solemn time for our nation, it is nice to also see a light hearted side of things.

    November 20, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    He pardoned two turkeys?

    Why then, I guess that he pardoned himself.......

    November 20, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. JP St. Louis, MO

    I'll name my turkey Cheney.

    November 20, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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