President Joe Biden pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys at the White House on Monday with a pun-filled speech in which he promised there had been no ‘fowl play’ and that the only ‘red wave’ this year would be if his dog Commander knocked over the cranberry sauce.
‘It’s a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition here at the White House. There’s a lot to say about it, but it’s chilly outside so I’m going to keep this short,’ he said to enthusiastic applause despite the 40 degree weather.
‘Nobody likes it when their turkey gets cold.’
His remarks were interrupted at times by the gobbling of turkeys and the barking of Commander, exiled to the balcony of the south portico for fear that he would chase the turkeys.
Biden’s son Hunter and grandson Beau looked on as the president issued the ceremonial pardon.
President Joe Biden pardoned too turkeys, Chocolate and Chip, on Monday at the White House. He delivered a pun-laden speech and promised not to ‘gobble up time’
Hunter Biden and his son Beau inspected the two national Thanksgiving turkeys, before they were pardoned on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday morning in front of a huge audience
Chocolate and Chip had their portraits taken by photographers in the Rose Garden before their big moment on TV
Biden’s dog Commander was not allowed to join the fun for fear he would chase the guests of honor . He kept a keen watch on proceedings and barked frequently, upstaging the president at times on Monday morning
Biden promised to keep things brief because it was a chilly day on the South Lawn, saying: ‘Nobody likes it when their turkey gets cold’
‘That’s my grandson Beau up there and my granddaughter,’ said Biden, spotting them on the balcony above. ‘Don’t let him jump.’
Biden unleashed his best Turkey puns throughout the address.
‘I want to thank them for being here as well, but before I gobble up too much time,’ Biden said, as the turkeys started gobbling. ‘I didn’t mean to get you started, man.’
Biden also took the opportunity to mock Republicans after his party enjoyed better than expected midterm results.
‘First of all the voter ID have been counted, verified,’ he said.
‘There’s no ballot stuffing, there’s no fowl play, the only red wave this season’s gonna be a German Shepherd Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.’
Republicans had predicted a red wave in November’s midterm elections, but what materialized was a loss to Democrats in the Senate and a narrow majority in the House.
After the ceremony, Biden greeted schoolchildren from Brooklyn who attended the ceremony
Before their big day, Chocolate and Chip spend the night living it up at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Chip walks on the South Lawn after the pardoning territory. Life at North Carolina State University awaits
Attendees were entertained with a poultry themed playlist ahead of the ceremony, including Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The White House is already in full holiday mode. Saturday brought a rare White House wedding (featuring the president’s granddaughter Naomi) followed by Biden’s 80th birthday on Sunday.
Later on Monday, the first lady is due to welcome the year’s Christmas tree before flying out with her husband for a ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner on a military base.
On Tuesday, they fly off to the Massachusetts island of Nantucket for their own Thanksgiving break.
The White House is already in holiday mode. On Saturday the first family celebrated the wedding of Biden’s granddaughter Naomi to Peter Neal. On Tuesday the president and first lady fly out for their Thanksgiving vacation
But Monday, brought the traditional pardoning of the turkey – plus a spare.
The birds came from a farm in North Carolina and weighed 46 and 47 pounds each.
‘Chocolate weighs 46 pounds and I’m told he loves catching sun on the Outer Banks,’ he said.
‘Chip weighs 47. And he loves barbecue and basketball, I’m told.
‘After receiving their presidential pardon today Chocolate and Chip are gonna head to one of the nation’s great basketball schools and research universities North Carolina State.
‘Now, when we told them they were joining the Wolfpack they got a little scared. But then we explained it was just a mascot for the school … has one of the nation’s best poultry science departments in the country.’
The turkeys may have been pardoned, but families have no let off this year as they count the cost of rising prices.
Americans are poised to spend $64.05 on a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people – 20 percent more than last year as the prices of nearly all foods have gone up
It’s by far the most expensive Thanksgiving meal since the American Farm Bureau Federation started its annual survey
The cost of a complete Thanksgiving meal for 10 will be 20 percent higher than last year.
In 2021, Americans paid an average of $53.31 on the holiday dinner, but now the meal, with all the fixings included, will cost up to $64.05, according to the latest survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The increase comes as the price of stuffing, sweet potatoes, veggies, pumpkin pies and nearly all the usual Thanksgiving treats soar as inflation remains stubbornly high at 7.7 percent.
The biggest jump in cost, however, comes through the must-have turkey, with the centerpiece now fetching about $28.96, or $1.81 a pound.