November 26th, 2009
01:11 PM ET
November 26th, 2009
07:21 AM ET

Dear President Obama #311: The Turkey Trot

Reporter's Note: President Obama is presumably celebrating Thanksgiving with his family and does not have time to be reading letters from vaguely obsessive and possibly insane reporters. But I’ll write one anyway.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

As you read this, I will be busy in the kitchen helping with an absolutely magnificent pecan/plum brandy stuffing, or perhaps basting the big bird, or hammering away on the potatoes until they are great cumulus clouds of buttery flavor. I am but the sous chef to my wife’s spatula wielding wonders, but ahh…my mouth is watering just contemplating it.

Speaking of turkey, much has been made in recent years about this whole ceremony of a turkey being brought to the White House for the president to pardon, and then presumably send off to some place where turkeys can live out their years unmolested. I’m guessing that is the U.S. Senate, but who knows?

I read up on this custom a few years ago, however, and found out that this business of granting a reprieve is relatively new. The real reason the nation’s poultry people (Yes, I know, it sounds like a bad sci-fi film, “Invasion of the Poultry People”) started bringing a gobbler to the White House every November was not to have it consecrated to a long life, but to have it consumed. The turkey was a gift of dinner. And that is what happened with most of them for many years. To paraphrase Sarah Palin’s new book, there is a place for wildlife…right next to the peas and yams.