November 26, 2008

Bush counts blessings, pardons turkeys

U.S. President George Bush, leaving office with the lowest approval ratings in history, counted his blessings Wednesday as he pardoned two turkeys.

This is my final Thanksgiving as the president, Bush said. Over the past eight years, I have been given many reasons to be thankful. I'm thankful to our men and women in uniform and I am incredibly proud to have been their commander in chief.

The two turkeys, named Pumpkin and Pecan, were supplied by Paul Hill, chairman of the National Turkey Federation and a farmer in Ellsworth, Iowa. The birds were to be flown to Disney World in Florida, where Pumpkin was to serve as honorary grand marshal at the Thanksgiving parade and both birds would then spend the rest of their lives there without fear of ending up on the table.

In his remarks, Bush also said he was grateful to his wife Laura for her love and for their daughters, Jenna and Barbara, and thankful that his mother's illness doesn't appear to be serious.

In recent weeks, I've talked a lot about sprinting to the finish, he said. Yet I've assured these turkeys they will not be trotting to their finish.