Jansing and Co | November 21, 2012
>>> in just a few hours, president obama has a big decision to make. will it be cobbler or gobbler? the president will make the annual turkey pardon in the rose guardn this afternoon. one bird will become the national turkey and both will escape the thanksgiving dinner table and live the rest of their lives on george washington 's mt. vernon estate in virginia. nbc deputy political editor domenidoe men joins was more on the annual tradition. this is one of your favorites, history buff that you are. it doesn't go back as far as i thought it might.
>> it doesn't go back all that far. there was some confusion 15 years ago in bill clinton 's pardon ceremony where he credited harry truman with having been the first to pardon a turkey . but, in fact, the truman library told us about three years ago when we first started doing this post, that he ate the bird most likely.
>> that any bird that came to him he ate.
>> so he was no pardon.
>> say it sunt so.
>> i'm doing the same thing tomorrow so i don't know about you.
>> me, too. okay.
>> the first president to actually pardon the turkey it seems for thanksgiving was jfk in 1963 . we looked back and tried to find any other evidence of a president pardoning a turkey before that and the only thing we could find was abe lincoln who pardoned a turkey but it was for christmas. it was give on the him and supposed to be prepared for the christmas dinner table but as the tale goes his son took a liking to the bird and they decided to keep it as a pet. the president to formalize the white house tradition was george h.w. bush in 1989 . and since then it's really become the tradition that you've seen that we're more accustomed to seeing over the past 20 years.
>> and i think we have those pictures of ronald reagan , who always seemed, at least to me, to be enjoying it.
>> look at that.
>> right. although it's not clear he, you know --
>> maybe not at that exact second he he might not have enjoyed it.
>> look at that. yeah. the other fact to know about this here, and this is kind of morb morbid, but these birds, they're raised to be eaten, and they only live an average of two years after they're pardoned. in fact, one of the birds president obama pardoned and was supposed to live out its life on mt. vernon, it did, but it was a short remainder of its life.
>> i guess it's a nice place to live in any case. of course not everybody likes this tradition, including peta.
>> right. well, peta doesn't like the killing of any animals to be eaten or not. you know, i mean, there's discussion about whether or not, you know, these kinds of bird -- like i brought up the fact they're raised to be eaten. peta has a problem with that. these aren't exactly free-range turkeys that are out there. that is obviously peta trying to get itself in the news with this anytime there's an animal that's eaten. they're going to, you know, be able to try to insert itself.
>> and i just was reminded by my intrepid producer that george bush , this is george w. bush . right? is that right? yeah. got bitten.
>> got bit by a turkey . yeah. it's probably not the best idea to -- they're not exactly domestic animals so i don't think petting a bird, no matter your political skills, probably not a good idea.
>> domenico, i hope you enjoy your turkey tomorrow and thank you for this little history lesson.
>> i'm prepping dinner once again, hosting my family down here, so i will be getting -- brining my turkey as soon as i get home.
>> he's a briner. wow.
>> i do. i mix the brining with this early seasoning and it comes out pretty nice.
>> next year we will put that recipe on our website. domenico, thank you and happy thanksgiving to you and yours.
>> thanks. same to you. happy thanksgiving.