President Barack Obama pardoned a Butterball turkey named Courage on Wednesday in the North Portico of the White House.
The mood was light despite the gray skies, and Obama had the crowd laughing. "I am pleased to announce that thanks to the interventions of [daughters] Malia and Sasha -- because I was planning to eat this sucker -- [that] Courage will be spared a terrible and delicious fate."
After pardoning the turkey, Obama said that he and his family would deliver two "less fortunate" turkeys to a Washington soup kitchen, Martha's Table.
Obama made light of the occasion, "You know, there are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office," he said in a mock-serious tone. "And then there are moments like this, where I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland."
After giving a solemn thank you to the troops, Obama issued his official pardon: "Now, before this turkey gets too nervous that [First Dog] Bo will escape and screw up this pardon, or before I change my mind, I hereby pardon 'Courage' so that he can live out the rest of his days in peace and tranquility in Disneyland."