The vice president confuses various pop stars while ceremoniously pardoning turkeys, Liberty and Bell, during an annual White House event ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. President Biden, along with a crowd gathered around the White House, jokes about his and the turkeys’ ages before ultimately pardoning the birds. The long-standing tradition is an ironic affair, given that high tensions and a mirthless political climate prevail, making it possibly inappropriate for celebration. The event is the unofficial start of the impending holiday season in the nation’s capital, as the president acknowledges. The fiasco is just the latest in a series of high-profile gaffes made by the vice president since taking office, making international headlines.
The tradition of pardoning turkeys began when the Poultry and Egg National Board, as well as the National Turkey Federation, started gifting turkeys to the president in 1947. It was also the year the government endorsed poultryless Thursdays and the President Harry S. Truman controversy regarding live chickens. Following periodic turkey pardons by presidents, as well as first ladies, the yearly tradition became even more popular with President George H.W. Bush’s famous pardon in 1989. The farm animals have been Illinois residents ever since, even making their way into the hands of various state officials. Throughout the years, it meant nothing to Liberty and Bell, who concluded their stay in the nation’s capital where they began adjusting to their new living arrangements in the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.
It appeared to be a peculiar event because the vice president mixed up various pop stars and was seemingly out of touch with the current trends, making the event less celebratory but rather somber. The event seemed to bring attention to the current political tension entangling the nation, as a result of the numerous gaffes made by the vice president ever since taking office. In historical context, the turkey pardon by the president represents a tradition that goes back to 1947, when the Poultry and Egg National Board, as well as the National Turkey Federation, started gifting turkeys to the president. The tradition became even more popular with President George H.W. Bush’s famous pardon in 1989, and has since then continued and also spread to various state officials across the nation.