Turkey Pardoning Starts Weird, Ends Weird

On Wednesday, President Obama spent a rainy afternoon informing a turkey that he would "pardon" it. Obama addressed Popcorn, the chosen turkey, in an official ceremony that concluded the Hunger Games-esque face-off on social media between turkeys Popcorn and Caramel. "The office of the presidency — the most powerful position in the world — brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities," Obama noted during his speech. "This is not one of them."

Popcorn got his own special ceremony, but don't fret about Caramel: the losing turkey was also spared from the Thanksgiving table. "Both turkeys will be pardoned," notes Obama's website, "but the American people have decided which bird takes the title." If either turkey had any idea what was going on, they'd be as confused as we are. It's almost like the the White House doesn't take the 66th presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey seriously: Both turkeys were spared death, but one won a nod from America's president? Everyone wins. Which is exactly the opposite of the point of the ritual. But we know your heart wasn't in it, Obama.

The President mapped the evolution of the turkey-off in his speech, recalling that Popcorn and Caramel were selected from 80 turkeys to be considered for pardon. "It was, quite literally, the Hunger Games," he continued. We think he might need to rethink the word "literally." As the First Family looked on, Obama addressed Popcorn directly: "Popcorn, you have a full reprieve from cranberry sauce and stuffing. We wish you well."

Popcorn and Caramel were then driven to Washington, D.C.'s George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, where the public can visit them over the holiday season. Past presidents have eaten the turkey presented to them, but maybe Obama wanted to keep his appetite for Thursday's festivities.