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

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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.”

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com