"I am here to announce what I’m sure will be the most talked-about executive action this month," President Obama quipped yesterday as he pardoned a pair of Thanksgiving turkeys named Mac and Cheese. He admitted that he found the Pardoning of the National Turkey "a little puzzling," but said "with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office it's nice once in a while just to say, 'Happy Thanksgiving,'" CNN reports. The White House held an online campaign this year where users could tweet in favor of saving Mac or Cheese, Politico reports. Cheese won, but Obama said both would be spared "a terrible and delicious fate."
"I know some will call this amnesty, but don't worry, there’s plenty of turkey to go around," Obama joked. This is the sixth turkey pardon of Obama's presidency and the novelty definitely appears to have worn off for Malia and Sasha. The girls, now 16 and 13, looked on with "barely contained disdain," and Malia said, "Nah" when her father asked her if she'd like to pet Cheese, Gawker reports (it shares a gif of their "teen face"). The daughters aren't the only ones with disdain for the tradition. Critics call it a mockery of real presidential pardons and note that the birds don't tend to spend long, peaceful retirements on farms: They're not bred to live long and most end up dead within a few months of the "pardon."