Thanksgiving turkey pardoned by president

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SALT LAKE CITY — President Obama pardoned the national Thanksgiving turkey on Wednesday, a tradition dating back to Pres. John F. Kennedy's administration, although everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Harry Truman has been credited with starting the practice.

The American public chose for the first time which turkey would be pardoned by "liking" or sharing their favorite bird's post on Facebook. The White House announced Wednesday morning that Cobbler was chosen by the American public over Gobbler to be spared.

Traditionally, both the main bird and the alternative bird are pardoned in the ceremony.

The custom of formally pardoning the turkey, instead of simply saving it from death, began in 1989. The turkeys were sent to live at Frying Pan Park in Virginia for years until 2005, when they were sent to either Disneyland or Disney World to serve as the Thanksgiving Day Parade grand marshals.

Beginning in 2010, they were sent to live at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.

A Utah-raised turkey was pardoned Monday at Thanksgiving Point by Gov. Gary Herbert. The turkey will continue to live at Thanksgiving Point's Farm Country.

Other political news:

  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has seen his approval rating jump 19 percentage points after superstorm Sandy hit his state, Reuters reports. Christie faces re-election in 2013 and is considered a contender for the presidency in 2016.

  1. Amy Poehler talked about Vice President Joe Biden's cameo on the TV show Parks & Recreation, saying that like her character, she was excited to meet the VP — excited enough for an unscripted kiss. "She freaks out," Poehler explained, talking about her character, Leslie Knope. "And I was really excited to meet him as well. And so we did a couple takes, and at the very end, just for the heck of it, I just went in for a kiss." Poehler said Biden handled it well, probably because he's "used to a lot of crazy people."
  2. Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker will follow through on a deal he made with a Twitter follower to live off of food stamps for a month, the Associated Press reports. The deal stemmed from a discussion Booker had with a woman on Twitter about funding for school meals. It later turned to the topic of food stamps. Booker said he cannot speak about the details until they are finalized. The average food stamp allowance in New Jersey was $133.26 per person in 2011.

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Stephanie Grimes


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