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Obama to Pardon Both Turkeys After Useless Facebook Contest

Esther Zuckerman

Despite pitting two animals against one another in a Facebook contest to choose the National Thanksgiving Turkey, the president will still pardon both birds—Cobbler and his alternate Gobbler—per a White House release this morning. The annual ceremony will take place this afternoon in the Rose Garden, though a White House official tells The Atlantic Wire that only the official National Thanksgiving Turkey will participate, not Gobbler. (Obama also pardoned both "Apple" and "Cider" last year, with only one bird attending the ceremony.)

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The whole thing won't make PETA any happier—they want Obama to do away with the tradition altogether—but that's not stopping outlets like NPR from joking that the animal community has an easier time getting clemency from this president than their human friends:

This just in, from @whitehouse: The President will pardon Cobbler AND Gobbler today, not just the winner of the vote. #SoftOnTurkeys

— Ari Shapiro (@Ari_Shapiro) November 21, 2012

Currently, Cobbler is still leading the Facebook vote for the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey, which was never exactly do-or-die in the first place. 

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