Biden turns 81, forgives turkeys, confuses Britney for Taylor

Even without the pop stars, the president is doing right by poultry.

Jose Rojas and Steve Licken of Jennie-O Turkey Store at the White House Turkey Pardon on November 20

It was the President’s birthday, and the turkeys’ lucky day.

“I want you to know that turning 60 is hard,” President Biden joked to a crowd outside the White House on Monday. sacred American Traditions Hollow: The Turkey Pardon. This year’s pair of cobblers are named Liberty and Bell, who are from a family farm in Willmar, Minn. Both weigh about 42 pounds, and neither of them peeked through the seven-minute ceremony. Biden, of course, arrived at 81, not 60.

Although Biden called it “the biggest edition of this wonderful White House Thanksgiving tradition,” the event felt pretty breezy and memorable — even by turkey-pardon standards.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. With two wars going on and the government perpetually on the brink of a strike, perhaps this is not the time to celebrate. too Very much. Last month, the White House decided to ground the B-52s as planned entertainment at a state dinner for Australia, citing the political climate. Things haven’t changed much since then.

Biden was 25 minutes late on Monday afternoon. Children sitting on their parents’ shoulders began to throb restlessly. After reaching the lectern around 12:40 p.m., Biden pulled on his pilots and said, “Before I start, I’m going to ask for a vote: Do I release the turkeys today?”

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According to the voice poll, “yes” had it.

On November 20, President Biden pardoned the “Liberty” and “Bell” turkeys at an annual White House event ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: AP/The Washington Post)

Biden noted that he is more comfortable with chickens because they never grow too big. He touted his administration’s investment in rural farms and paid tribute to former first lady Rosalyn Carter, who died Sunday at 96.

She made at least one gaffe that required an apology from the Swifties — which is especially unfortunate because Liberty and Belle are fans of Taylor Swift, according to Steve Liken, president of the National Turkish Federation.

“To get here, Liberty and Bell had to overcome some tough odds and competition,” Biden said. He added that getting a turkey to the White House was “harder than getting tickets to the Renaissance tour or Britney’s tour.” She’s down – it’s kind of hot in Brazil right now.

He seems to be referring to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. A fan attending a concert in Rio de Janeiro died on Friday during a heat wave.

During his Thanksgiving turkey apology speech on Nov. 20, President Biden confused Taylor Swift with “Britney,” meaning Britney Spears. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

“That’s a big bird, man,” Biton said as one of the turkeys was brought to the stage. Then he raised his hand. “I hereby forgive Liberty and Belle. … All right. Congratulations, birds.

The ceremony is considered the unofficial start of the holidays in Washington, but Biden made a head start Sunday when he joined service members and military families in a “friends giving” event at a naval hangar in Norfolk. The opening scene of “Wonka”.

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Although everyone involved insisted on the term “76th Annual Apology” — including Biden, who assured the crowd he wasn’t the first — it wasn’t quite right.

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The National Poultry and Egg Board and the National Turkey Federation began gifting turkeys to the president in 1947. That was the same year the government approved “Chicken-Free Thursdays,” which were supposed to promote food security in the wake of World War II, but naturally caused outrage. Poultry industry and restaurant owners. In a protest called “Hens for Harry,” farmers protested against President Harry S. Truman began sending boxes of live chickens.

Did Truman pardon the turkeys? Probably not. The following year, he accepted two more, saying they would “come to me” for holiday meals. Over the years, the turkey has been pardoned from time to time by presidents (John F. Kennedy in 1963) and first ladies (Patricia Nixon in 1973, Rosalyn Carter in 1978).

But the annual tradition began in 1989 with President George HW Bush. “But I promise you, this great Tom turkey, he won’t be on anybody’s dinner table,” Bush said, according to the White House Historical Society. Animal rights activists protested nearby. Instead the turkey “will spend its days at a children’s farm not far from here.”

The ceremony has been going on ever since and has even spread to the lower levels of government. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will save the life of a turkey named Dolly Parton this week.

That history, of course, is about squatting for Liberty and Bell. Their whirlwind trip to DC included a regular stay at the Willard Hotel, where they met the public for the first time on Sunday — and a little cutie-parazzi.

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“They checked in, they went to their rooms, they looked at a map of what to do in town, they took a bubble bath, and I heard from the minibar that they had something too,” said Marcus, the hotel’s general manager. Blatcher said during a media preview. His claims could not be independently verified.

Now, the turkeys are headed back north, where they will be housed in the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

They should be happy there, according to Biden.

“They love Honeycrisp apples,” she said of the turkeys. “Not bad, huh? Ice hockey. I sure as hell want to see them play ice hockey.

Correction

An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the National Turkish Federation. The article has been corrected.

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