For the Birds: Obama Set To Pardon GOP Turkeys


There’s a political joke in here somewhere.

Two turkeys being prepped for the President’s traditional pardon on Thanksgiving Day are being provided by Cooper Farms in Ohio, a company that has donated exclusively to Republican candidates in 2014.

Via Ohio’s Country Journal:

Later this month, ovens, grills, deep fryers, and smokers will all be fired up to cook delicious Thanksgiving turkeys in many different ways. There are a couple of Ohio turkeys, however, that have a November destination quite different from the rest of their counterparts — a presidential pardon at the White House.

Each year the honor of raising and presenting the National Thanksgiving Turkey goes to the chairman of the National Turkey Federation. This year’s chairman is Gary Cooper, an owner and the COO of Cooper Farms, a family-owned turkey, pork and egg company in western Ohio. The Coopers have worked with a special flock of turkeys that hatched in July in anticipation of a trip to meet President Barack Obama this month.

The tradition of the presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey dates back to 1873 when Ulysses S. Grant was president. It wasn’t until 1989 however, that President George H.W. Bush began the official presidential pardon for turkeys. President Bush sent the turkey on his way to Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia, and with that, a new tradition was born.

The 2014 trip will be the Cooper family’s second visit to the White House with turkeys in tow.

According to, Cooper Farms donated over $40,000 in 2014 – almost exclusively to Republican incumbent candidates, including John Boehner, Robert Latta, and Jim Jordan.

The company also donated to the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Ohio.

OpenSecrets referred to the pardoning of GOP turkeys as an “early show of bipartisanship.”

Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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