President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys, Chocolate and Chip, on Monday as he discharged the presidential duty of the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon.
“The votes are in, they’ve been counted and verified, no ballot stuffing, no fowl play. The only red wave this season is going to be if German Shepherd Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce,” Biden told an audience on the White House South Lawn.
Justice, and perhaps a side of cranberry sauce, was served as Biden roasted the 2022 National Thanksgiving Turkey and an alternate, Chocolate and Chip. The president quipped that the two birds were part of “another flock hoping to come to Washington in 2024.”
Baste on tradition, Biden designated Chocolate as the official National Thanksgiving Turkey, but both Chocolate and Chip were pardoned. The birds weigh in at 46 and 47 pounds, respectively, and were raised by National Turkey Federation (NTF) chairman Ronnie Parker near Monroe, North Carolina.
As he began his remarks on the crisp November morning, Biden joked he would keep it short because “nobody likes it when the turkey gets cold.”
The poultry of honor arrived in Washington, DC, over the weekend, where they gobbled up an opportunity to stay at the nearby Willard Hotel and ruffled some feathers as they trotted around a Sunday press conference.
Biden made much ado about stuffing before heading to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, for a Friendsgiving dinner with service members and military families, part of first lady Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative. The Biden family will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where family discussions about the president’s political future and a 2024 run will begin in earnest.
Despite the cornucopia of jokes cracked Monday, the turkey pardon comes as Americans are facing rising costs at their Thanksgiving tables. The American Farm Bureau’s annual survey found that the average price of Thanksgiving dinner is up 20% since last year due to high inflation, as well as supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine.