Category: Society / November 21, 2012 5:19 PM EST
U.S. President Barack Obama pardoned a pair of turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday (November 21) and cracked a few political jokes during a Rose Garden ceremony.
"You know they say that life is all about second chances. And this November, I couldn't agree more. So, in the spirit of the season, I have one more gift to give and it goes to a pair of turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler. The American people have spoken. And these birds are moving forward."
For the first time, the White House sponsored an online contest to decide which of two finalists would be named the National Thanksgiving Turkey.
Obama pardoned both the winning national turkey, Cobbler, and his alternate, Gobbler.
Both turkeys will be sent to live out their days at a livestock farm on the grounds of George Washington's plantation at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Obama also remembered the men and women serving in the U.S. military overseas, and those affected by hurricane Sandy.
"It is also a time to remember those who are less fortunate and this year that is particularly true for our neighbors in the Northeast who have lost their homes, their possessions and even their love ones to hurricane Sandy," he said.
The tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House started with President John F. Kennedy in 1963.