Despite the state of affairs, there will be a turkey forgiveness

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Still, a tradition will continue as planned: The President of the United States will forgive the annual White House Thanksgiving turkey on Tuesday, according to a White House official. In a 2020 riddled with disappointments and disaster, the news Wednesday that the annual grace will continue is somewhat heartwarming and unsettling at the same time, and is sure to ruffle some feathers.

President Donald Trump has not had a public event on his schedule for 11 days. He has only made four official appearances since November 3 and he has only spoken publicly twice. With the exception of golf on the weekends and a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, he hasn’t left the White House.

He spends his mornings watching television in the Executive Residence, meanders to the Oval Office for the rest of the day, and returns “home” at night. Barring the daily Twitter blasts and the occasional dismissal of a senior administration official, he hasn’t done much of the normal presidential job.

What he has achieved is to maintain a democratic process essential to the smooth transition from one president to another.

This month, there have been no diplomatic engagements for the president, no major meetings with world leaders or heads of state, no steady stream of congressional heavyweights, or Cabinet meetings. But the Turkeys, as yet unknown, will have time against the leader of the Free World, and perhaps the first of the most lame mercy grants to come.The birds have already been selected – they were bred by National Turkey Foundation president and Iowa turkey breeder Ron Kardel, according to a tweet from the federation. Official Thanksgiving turkeys have been donated to the White House by the poultry industry since 1947, though some date back to the turkey’s “forgiveness” as far back as President Abraham Lincoln.

Next week, this year’s birds will travel aboard the gravy train to Washington to stay at the Willard Hotel, a few blocks from the White House, and will become two rare visitors these days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It is not known whether they will meet the mandatory three-day quarantine and test required by the mayor of Washington, DC.

Trump seemed to enjoy the last three turkey pardons he organized, especially the birds themselves. Last year he called the Bread and Butter Turkeys family members “the noble turkey,” “beauties,” and when we swallowed, interrupting his remarks, Trump was amazed, “Wow. It is a strong bird. ”

He riffed, off-screenplay, as he often does when delivering remarks, noting that from the Rose Garden he could see his desk for now.

“It’s the Oval Office,” Trump gestured to the guests. “Some of you have never been here before. But every time we walk the White House grounds, we realize how special it is. ”

In 2018, as he chose between Birds Peas and Carrots, Trump said the vote was decided by a “fair and open election.” But he teased that Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount, although that did not change the outcome.

“It’s a shame for Carrots,” Trump said, ironic this time around given his campaign’s baseless efforts to challenge the election results.

While he may not devote the time to the business of our democracy, Trump has always loved the pomp and circumstance of official White House events, even those that require a bed of sawdust and the risk of being pecked by a 45-pound turkey. . This year will mark the 73rd year of forgiveness, and if Trump finally admits it, it will indeed be the last of this presidency.

The turkeys will also fly into the co-op to retire at the Gobblerer’s Rest in Blacksburg, Virginia. They will not be picked, stuffed and cooked – even one who has not been forgiven. They will live – all forgiveness, a storytelling exercise, a lasting farce.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

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