The Best of Obama’s Turkey Pardon Jokes

TurkeyPardon Obama
via White House / Pete Souza

Although President Barack Obama is no longer the Commander-In-Chief of the United States, the turkey jokes he has made over the eight Thanksgivings he served in office stand the test of time.

Obama participated in a time-honored presidential tradition each Thanksgiving in which he pardoned one lucky turkey from being sent to the slaughterhouse.

“You are here by pardoned from the Thanksgiving dinner table,” Obama told each turkey, as his daughters Sasha and Malia stood by his side.

In 2011, Obama said Thanksgiving is one of the worst days in the year to be a turkey.

“They say that life is all about second chances,” Obama said in 2012.

In 2013 Obama said, “The office of the presidency, the most powerful position in the world brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities. This is not one of them.”

“I’m here to announce what I’m sure will be the most talked about executive action this month,” he said in 2014.

Obama finally made his daughters laugh in 2015 with a cunning joke.

“It’s hard to believe this is my seventh year of pardoning turkeys,” he said. “Time flies, even if Turkeys don’t.”

“That was good, that was good,” Malia said to her dad, giving him approval.

He then called the bird he had pardoned “TOTUS: The Turkey of The United States.”

Sadly, Sasha and Malia were unable to attend his last turkey pardoning in 2017 due to a scheduling conflict, but that didn’t stop Obama from cracking some of his usual style jokes.

“Thanksgiving is a national holiday is as much as a family one,” he said. “So for the past seven years, I’ve established another tradition: embarrassing my daughters with a cornucopia of dad jokes about turkeys. But this is the last time I’m doing this — we’re not leaving any room for leftovers.”

Laughter aside, Obama always had a good time participating in the goofy presidential act.

“You know there are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office,” Obama said. “And then there are days like this, where I pardon a Turkey and send it to Disneyland.”