President Barack Obama pardoned a turkey on behalf of the White House.
The lucky bird will be called Butterball Liberty, in reference to the name of the Thanksgiving bird popularized by a popular chicken wing restaurant chain.
The bewigged Obama insisted he was only invited to the ceremony after a re-elected predecessor bent the rules to accommodate the president’s wife.
And on the way out, the honoree got to relive the excitement of her dinner party, in which all eight guests were set free by the Yoda-like President of the United States.
The turkey, Liberty, and its seven callous siblings were captured for historical preservation by photographer Henry M. Jackson.
The images, and memories, will be kept forever at the National Mall where they will be available at the Library of Congress to see for a paltry $7 each.
A record number of about 30,000 turkeys were flown into Washington, D.C., by Delta Airlines and fed a month-long bacchanal of banquets, parties and Thanksgiving Day.
On that day, they were slaughtered and gloated over like prized peacocks. The carcasses of the 50 turkeys that were juveniles were discarded to the new enemies of freedom.
A representative for Butterball – the brand whose breakfast foods have become synonymous with the turkey burger – said in a statement that Butterball employees worked for weeks to research presidential pardons from those who have served.
“We are very excited for Liberty and for the fact that for the first time in history, a turkey from our farm was selected to fly around the White House as a symbol of gratitude for our community,” said Ken Schroeder, chairman of Butterball’s regional commission.
Retired Mississippi state Sen. David Hill, who gave Obama a civil rights greeting during the presidential campaign, was invited to help prepare the turkey that will be freed to the wild.
The nomination of Hill to be Liberty’s “honorary consort” was made by California Sen. Kamala Harris.
While the president has the last say, his friend Hill said “Obama is the best speaker we’ve ever had.”
For the record, Harris is not seeking to be, er, Liberty’s “honorary consort.”