Unpopular opinion? I believe that for the sillier parts of the job, President Joe Biden should be allowed to conduct business wearing his famous aviator sunglasses. There’s absolutely no reason why President Biden couldn’t wear aviators while pardoning this year’s White House turkeys. Following the grand tradition – one of the silliest of the White House traditions – they made ol’ Joe Biden pardon two turkeys on his 81st birthday on Monday. This year’s turkeys are named Liberty and Bell. Which is very cute. Following their presidential pardons, Liberty and Bell will return to Minnesota, their birthplace. These turkeys are only five months old?? They’ve got their whole pardoned lives ahead of them.
Hailing from Willmar, Minnesota, Liberty, weighing 42.5 pounds, and Bell, a svelte 42.1 pounds, escaped the “fowl” fate of ending up on anyone’s Thanksgiving dinner plate this year because of the pardon.
After a morning at D.C.’s Willard InterContinental Hotel, the turkeys received their pardon during a lighthearted ceremony. Biden, who celebrated his 81st birthday on Monday, joked that this year marks the 76th anniversary of the event — but he didn’t attend the first one.
“I was too young to make it up,” he said with a laugh. Acknowledging his birthday, Biden joked “it’s hard turning 60!”
The president commented that while Liberty and Bell hail from Minnesota, their namesake is the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
“They have a new appreciation for the phrase, ‘Let freedom ring,'” Biden said to the crowd.
“I hereby pardon Liberty and Bell,” Biden bellowed, adding, “Congratulations, birds!”
Liberty and Bell were hatched as part of the presidential flock in July — and were prepped for their turn in the spotlight with some hype-up music so the noise and festivities didn’t ruffle their feathers, said National Turkey Federation President Steve Lykken at a news conference Sunday.
“I can confirm they are in fact Swifties, and they do enjoy some Prince,” Lykken said.
The two traveled in style from Minnesota, driven in their own personal vehicle to D.C. ahead of Monday’s event.
After their pardon, it’s all gravy for Liberty and Bell. The two will return to the University of Minnesota and the College of Food, Ag and National Resource Sciences to rest their feathers and live out the rest of their post-pardon lives.
At National Turkey Federation President Steve Lykken’s press conference (OMG) he also said that various turkeys were tested to see how they would react to loud noises, music, shouting, clapping and Liberty and Bell were the most chill. They test the turkeys because no one wants a cracked-out turkey going batsh-t in the middle of a cheeseball presidential turkey pardon. Now, that being said, the photos from the turkey pardon are amazing. It looks like President Biden is the one going batsh-t. PS… Biden’s birthday cake photo was also BONKERS.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 20, 2023
Liberty and Bell had free range of the White House this week. pic.twitter.com/cQy7MYq4H6
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 20, 2023
Photos courtesy of Cover Images.