Presidential turkey pardons expected for Tater and Tot

Tater and Tot, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate, are shown to members of the media during a press conference held by the National Turkey Federation November 22, 2016 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. The two turkeys will both be "pardoned" following the presentation of the national turkey to U.S. President Barack Obama. –Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is set to get the holiday mood started at the White House with the traditional pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey.

The light-hearted ceremony in the Rose Garden on Wednesday afternoon will feature Iowa-raised turkeys Tater and Tot.

The White House asks people on Twitter to vote for which turkey will receive the pardon, though both typically get a reprieve.

The White House blog provides a biography for each bird to help in the decision. For example, Tater’s favorite snack is worms. Tot prefers tomato slices.

Presidents as far back as Abraham Lincoln have spared turkeys. President George H.W. Bush is credited with beginning the tradition of a pardon.


After the ceremony, the president and first family will volunteer at a community service event.


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