President Clinton may have been mum about presidential pardons during the recent debates, but Wednesday he had no qualms about issuing one to a turkey.
“Tomorrow 45 million turkeys will pay the supreme sacrifice. I am going to keep at least one turkey off the Thanksgiving dinner table by giving a pardon to a turkey from Ohio,” Clinton said.
Clinton formally received the annual presidential turkey from the National Turkey Federation, a tradition since President Truman’s first poultry pardon in 1947. Clinton kept his remarks brief:
“We can all be thankful that there will be one less turkey in Washington, D.C., tomorrow.”
The turkey, a 28-week-old, 65-pound tom named Carl, wore a White House visitors pass around its neck, and graciously allowed Clinton and children from the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters programs to ruffle its feathers before he left to join a petting zoo.