Barack Obama has gone beyond the call of presidential duty and pardoned an extra turkey as he officially declared the US Thanksgiving holiday season underway.
Pardoning one bird is tradition; since taking office the president has made a point of sparing a second turkey from the dinner plate.
“Some of you may know that recently I’ve been taking a series of executive actions that don’t require Congressional approval,” he said to laughter at an informal ceremony at the White House. “Well, here’s another one. We can’t wait to pardon these turkeys… literally. Otherwise they’d end up next to mashed potatoes and stuffing.”
Continuing the tradition dating back to President Kennedy, Obama’s gesture means the two birds named “Peace” and “Liberty” will live happily ever after.
On a more serious note, the president reminded people to remember the less well-off. He and his family paid a surprise visit to a local food bank in Washington to distribute supplies to people in need.
The weekend is an important one for the US economy. Tomorrow, Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day of the year, setting the tone for the entire season.