November 20th, 2007
02:22 PM ET
14 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. Susan, St.Louis

    Saw the headline and assumed that Bush was doing pre-emptive pardons for Chenney and Rumsfeld.

    November 20, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Andre' J. Perrin Richardson, TX

    Did he pardon himself and Cheney?

    November 20, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Annette, Monroe, MI

    That Cheney is such a kidder.........

    November 20, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. John, Columbus, Ohio

    Come on, that was funny...

    November 20, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Teresa, York, PA

    You guys have no sense of humor. Lunch and Dinner... hilarious! C'mon PETA... i'm not afraid of you! 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    November 20, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. John, Detroit, Michigan

    While he's pardoning turkeys there are children without health insurance. what a swell guy!

    November 20, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |


    November 20, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Gabriel, Clifton NJ

    Shouldnt they have been named"Scooter" and "Libby"

    November 20, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. J.Crobuzon

    Their names were Hastert and Foley?

    November 20, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Josh, Grand Rapids, Michigan

    This is an article about being thankful for what we have. For once maybe a positive word instead of your traditional "bush bashing" or whatnot.

    Personally I thank God I live in this amazing country of ours. Even if it has its flaws.

    November 20, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. bernoo, kansas city, MO

    As long as he managed not to shoot anyone in the face who may have been involved in the pardoning of the turkeys.

    November 20, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    It would be interesting to have the guilty turkeys loose for hunting, with taught proper pride of linx(solitary animals), or a set of foxes. A bow and arrow points with both these animals.

    fitting sport and supper even on the Whitehouse lawn.

    November 20, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    I'd assume the president would be the only one with permission to hold and arrow, or so pass one.

    November 20, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Mike, Palo Alto, CA

    Bush and Cheney are the real turkeys.

    November 20, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Just a Turkey Republican, Nashville TN

    Hey, Phil! My family has given over $500 this Thanksgiving for the homeless to have a great holiday meal, and about $6500 over the year to insure they have enough to eat everyday.

    What's your contribution?

    November 20, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Kevin, Raliegh, NC

    Are people really taking offense at the fact he's carrying out a 60 year old tradition of the president and made a funny joke? Lighten up people.

    And if you've ever been to a grocery store the harvest is certainly large enough. If you think Americans need more food produced I think your the one out of touch.

    November 20, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Greg, San Diego, CA

    "Lunch" and "Dinner" hilarious? You need to get out more....

    The whole thing is silly and yet another diversion from what these guys - all of 'em, Democrats and Republicans - were sent to do in Washington.

    Filling up the day with news conferences to pardon birds makes it so much easier to keep the status quo on the farm bill, children's health insurance, etc.

    November 20, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Tony, Tacoma, Wash.

    While "lunch and dinner" are funny. The fact that time and coverage are given to this is sad. There are serious problems needing addressing. Besides, he doesn't write his own shtick, they'd never allow him to.

    November 20, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. demwit

    Cheney was certainly looking for lunch and dinner, but they threw him off by blending in among the dem candidates head in sand foreign policy stance...

    November 20, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. apocalypsebiker, San Diego CA

    Get over yourselves and your hatred for Bush. It makes your side look petty.

    November 20, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Brendose, Oceanside, CA

    "National Turkey Federation Chairman Ted Seger" there is a title to be proud of! I wonder how much taxpayer money he rakes in a year! "We are grateful for a harvest big enough to feed us all and millions more"...thats just awful! To boast about how much food we have and can waste, while the "millions more" will go starving. Thanksgiving has become more of a ornamental holiday than what we should be really using that day for: helping those who have none. And we REALLY have to wonder why all other countries hate us? Mental midgets like our President are flaunting our abundence of food!!

    November 20, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. therealist

    Bush should send them over to the Senate's "pro forma" session on Thursday and let them show Harry how to pass some appointees in a bipartisan fashion.

    May and Flower. Harry and Nancy. What's the difference? They're both living off our tax dollars for doing nothing..

    November 20, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. Geoff, Boston, MA

    maybe they should be named Mike and Vick

    November 20, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Julie, Austin Tx

    Finally! I found something I agree with Dick Cheney about! Lunch and Dinner are brilliant names!

    November 20, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Sam, NL, CT

    He should have pardoned the two boarder guards.

    November 20, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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