Yes, the President is pardoning some turkeys today – and no, that does not mean he’s pardoning most of his cabinet. Tradition dictates that the President pardon a few lucky Meleagris gallopavo each year. The turkey, it seems, receive the type of treatment that many of our returning veterans do not.
The two 20-week-old, 45-pound white turkeys were escorted up a red carpet by Willard bellmen, who pushed the birds on a cart through the lobby and up to Room 726… The Turkey Suite was sectioned off by baby gates, keeping the birds in the foyer, which was protected with plastic, paper and sawdust. They also won’t be sleeping alone — their trainer, Peter Gruel, will be staying in the adjoining room.
But while they couldn’t sit on the couch, the turkeys did have some perks. Chef Neall Bailey prepared “turkey treats” for them, made of cracked corn, soybeans, roasted hazelnuts, oats and raisins.
And the birds had better get a good night’s sleep, for after their visit to the White House, they will fly first class on United Airlines to Los Angeles, where one of them will be the grand marshal in Thursday’s Disneyland Thanksgiving Day Parade.