WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Obama has now pardoned his final turkey of his presidency, carrying on the 69 year old tradition one more year.
At his final pardon, the president joked that he created another ritual to coincide with the holiday.
"I have established another tradition," he said. "Embarrassing my daughters with a corny-copia of dad jokes about turkeys."
First daughters Malia and Sasha were missing from the event. Instead, the president had his nephews by his side. He said they had not yet been turned cynical by Washington like his daughters have.
The president's daughters famously rolled their eyes at his puns in 2015, but he joked he'll continue the tradition out of the Oval Office, saying "no way I'm cutting this habit cold turkey."
The president pardoned two turkeys raised on a farm in northwest Iowa. Social media users voted whether "Tater" or "Tot" would get the official pardon Wednesday. Tot won.
"Tater is here in a back-up role in case Tot can't fulfill his duties," the president said. "He's sort of like the vice-turkey. We're working on getting him a pair of aviator glasses."
"The turkeys need to be able to handle the pressure, the lights," said John Reiks of the National Turkey Federation. "And the family did well getting them trained for that." Rieks says the birds were treated like pets and were trained over their short, 18 week, lifespan for Wednesday's events.
The turkeys will now head to Virginia Tech to spend the rest of their lives.
The first family also donated two turkeys to the armed forces retirement home in Washington.