TIME White House

President Obama Pardons Turkeys Tater and Tot for Final White House Thanksgiving

But he plans to continue making turkey-themed jokes for Sasha and Malia

President Barack Obama pardoned the last Thanksgiving turkey of his presidential term, granting freedom to Tot and his “vice-turkey,” Tater.

“It is my great privilege, well it’s my privilege—actually, let’s just say it’s my job—to grant them clemency this afternoon,” Obama said.

“As I do, I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom, who met their fate with courage and sacrifice and proved that they weren’t chicken,” he continued, as a young child cried in the background.

“It’s not that bad now, c’mon,” Obama joked.

The President was joined by his two nephews, instead of his daughters, Malia and Sasha.

“This year, they had a scheduling conflict. Actually, they just couldn’t take my jokes anymore,” Obama said. “Malia and Sasha are thankful, by the way, that this is my final presidential turkey pardon. What I haven’t told them yet is that we are going to do this every year from now on. No cameras, just us. Every year. No way I’m cutting this habit cold turkey.”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team