November 1st, 2010
11:33 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama's Halloween pardon

Washington (CNN) - It wasn't a ghost and it wasn't someone dressed up as the President who popped into the press cabin on Air Force One Sunday. President Obama himself made a rare appearance during the flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Andrews Air Force Base.

"Happy Halloween" Mr. Obama said when he paid a surprise visit to the dozen members of the press pool who follow his every move.

The President asked if anyone was taking kids trick-or-treating and chatted briefly about his daughters.

Sasha he said was going to dress up as a turkey, to which someone asked jokingly if he was going to pardon her, a play on the Thanksgiving White House tradition of pardoning turkeys.
The President replied, "that's a good idea, I'm going to pardon Sasha."

The visit to the back of the plane, his third since taking office, lasted for only one minute.

It capped a four state weekend campaign swing to stump for Democratic candidates and rally voters ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections.

Filed under: 2010 • Obama family • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Keep yukking it up, Obama. Tomorrow the joke's on you.

    November 1, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Ann

    Maybe someone can answer this. Is that normal for the President of the United States to campaign for his party in the midterm election? Shouldn't he just ask all Americans to vote? What he does is not presidential at all.

    November 1, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. tony

    It just shows that this president is as partisan as Speaker Pelosi and Majority leader Reid. He is President of the United States, not a Democratic President. He is my President whether I like it or not and respect the office. I still have my right to disagree but that does not make me 'dangerous'. President O'bama does not recognize this and thinks he still is in the Senate and no one has valid points except his side (or Pelosi side).

    November 1, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Monster Zero

    How many trips across the Nation on Air Force One does this make to campaign? Seems to me I recall the CEO's of the troubled auto industry being lambasted for flying corporate jets to their DC interrogations by this Administration. Is not the US bankrupt? Does not it cost over a million in tax dollars to fly this jet around even on a short run? Anyone else see the hypocrisy out of these idiots? Don't say the word tea time around Obama or he'll grab his clubs and say what time?

    November 1, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Mike

    Ann: It is perfectly normal, actually. It would be abnormal if he didn't, actually.

    November 1, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Kimberly

    GAH! the right wing nut jobs are out in full force this morning!

    November 1, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Margo

    Yes, of course Obama should keep a low profile, being an uppity black president and all. He shouldn't be out *doing his job* putting a public face on the Administration, he should be back at the White House, working. Washing windows, perhaps? (Heavy sarcasm here, for anyone who doesn't spontaneously recognize such)

    November 1, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Unbelievable...

    Every single sitting President campaigns for his party during the midterms.

    I'm certain that all these so-called "concerned citizens" on here posting about how inappropriate it is voiced the same level of disdain when Bush was doing it.

    What...they weren't? Hmmm...I wonder why.

    November 1, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Really???

    Wow – this is a story about a man making an effort to have a conversation about something benign – like halloween – talking about his children on halloween to other parents with children, simply taking a minute for human contact, a smile and a laugh – to have conversations that the rest of us have in our everyday lives...and all this story gets in response is more criticism of him completely unrelated to what the story is about. And we wonder why our political and governing process has reduced itself to gridlock.

    November 1, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. mankan

    Ann, Tony, & Monster Zero, how soon you forget! GW did the same thing on our dime. It is his prerogative as POTUS. Although, I was not happy when George did it. Stop the hate!

    November 1, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Jo Mama


    You are an idiot. Every president in the history of the country has campaigned for his party during the midterm.

    November 1, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. A Dem

    Well said Monster Zero.

    November 1, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Jon

    Ana, start paying attention. It's completely normal for a president to campaign for his party in the midterms. Bush and Clinton and Bush and Reagan all did it. The President, no matter which party he or she belongs to, is the head of that party. Simple as that. Come up with some other lame excuse to criticize him for than that.

    November 1, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Joy

    My dear Tony,

    All presidents campaign for their party during an election cycle. However, this president's every move is scrutinized more than any president in history. Especially by the partisans.

    November 1, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    That shows that Obama has a sense of humor. I think that the idea of "pardoning his daughter who dressed up as a turkey" is funny. How can you dispute that?

    November 1, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. La Piovra

    If you hate the idea of a black President, a Democratic President, or one with an exotic name, you're going to grouse no matter what this President does. Each and every one of you demanded slavish obeisance to a President who was white, Wasp, Republican, and stupid. And before one of you cretins accuses me of playing the race card, (a) I'm white; (b) that mirror behind you gives me a damn good look at what kind of cards are in your hands.

    November 1, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. T'SAH from Virginia

    CNN knows how to present the blogs – FIRST 5 are Anti-Obama!!!! I would like to say at this time that at least CNN allows FOX NEWS fanatics to blog here!! That’s the only way the battles will continue – they NEED the RIGHT so WE can fight!! I am not going to take the bait this time. I learned something at the "Restoring Sanity Rally".

    @Fair is Fair, Ann, tony & Monster Zero........ It does not MATTER what you think because you are all saying the SAME thing and none of it makes SENSE!!!!

    DEMOCRATS – the far-right bloggers are out in FULL FORCE and we will IGNORE them!!! Don't get distracted – Get out and VOTE – let's prove that we are for MOVING AMERICA FORWARD with our CURRENT President – Barack Obama!!!!

    Scott McAdams for AK – This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

    November 1, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Annie, Atlanta

    I love the complaints about the President campaigning. President Bush did the same thing, and used Air Force One to vacation more than any other president in history, clearing bush in Crawford TX. Selective memory on the right is starting to worry me, seriousl. Are they stupid, illiterate, ignorant, or all of the above?

    Finally, why is it that the GOP hates and attempts to destroy anything and anyone they can't buy or own? I'd love to see an in-depth study. Is it truly my way or the highway for them. And what about all that love of the constitution and our freedoms, then? Is that just a talking point, too?

    November 1, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. hope and change

    A clown. Can see him performing under the big top. What a complete disgrace he is.

    November 1, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Don`t P _ _ on My Leg and Tell Me Its Raining

    Since February 12 2009, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor have been Campaigning AGAINST the President so don`t give me this holier-than-thou crap you partisan GOP shills. They are the ones that haven`t been doing their day jobs. I want their salaries back for NON-PERFORMANCE !

    None of them can ever get elected to National office because too many American citizens despise them!

    November 1, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Lisa

    Ann: Yes, it is normal. EVERY president since god knows when has campaigned for the party during mid-term elections, thus it is quite presidential.

    Is it just me or does it seem like a bunch of zombies who haven't paid attention to politics or governance EVER in their lives are suddenly shuffling around wondering about what is right and appropriate (because, you know......we have a 'Muslin Prezidint' and they are real worried).

    November 1, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. TK

    It must be nice to use the tax payers money to fly AF One everywhere. And to have the wifey flying AF Two all over the world. What a waste.

    November 1, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. stufthis

    Obama alreday pardoned Bush and Cheney for war crimes, and that is enough sympathy for turkeys.

    November 1, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Matt

    Yes every other President has campaigned for their party's people. Yes campaign funds reimburse the government for any campaign only flights. He does this to try and stop teh gridlock he has encountered. Republicans have already said they won't pass anything for 2 years since everyone thinks teh President passes the laws.

    November 1, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Tiffany

    It is so sad when people hate you just for being you and they take time out of their day to let everyone know. No matter what tomorrow bring, it will not change history. We all still have to live together.

    November 1, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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