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Erin Strecker
November 21, 2012 AT 09:13 PM EST

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: I’m talking, of course, about the day before Thanksgiving, when the President has to take time out of his I’m sure incredibly busy schedule to officially pardon a turkey (I guess this makes it OK for the rest of America to eat a ton of them tomorrow?)

Anyway, the day can be counted on for a little last-minute holiday hilarity. Joined by first daughters Malia and Sasha, President Obama officially pardoned one Cobbler and Gobbler this afternoon. Sorry, Gobbler. Cobbler won a White House poll about which of the two would be the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey, with 2,789 votes. Yes, that does mean that over 5,000 people actually had a preference that they voted on. And you thought election season was over weeks ago!

I have to wonder what people who aren’t Americans think of this weird tradition (it allegedly started with Abraham Lincoln’s son, and then became an official event in 1989). Although I suppose it’s not any stranger than everything else about Thanksgiving, what with the Pilgrims and the hurting of the Native Americans, and now the football and the relatives.

People reports that President Obama encouraged his daughters to pet the wild turkey before he pardoned it. Sasha went for it, but “Malia looked horrified and refused.”

Smart girl.

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