UPDATED: Obama calls Hoeven, briefly delaying turkey pardon

(UPDATED at 12:10 p.m.) The fate of a 19-week-old turkey was left hanging in the balance this morning when Gov. John Hoeven had to leave his annual turkey pardon to take a phone call from President Barack Obama.

The call took Hoeven by surprise since he wasn’t expecting the call at that time. Hoeven took the call and then returned to officially grant turkey Tallulah her pardon.

Hoeven, a Republican, said Obama called him from Air Force One. The outreach call was to talk about working together, Hoeven said. Hoeven begins his new duties as a U.S. senator in early January.

During the turkey event, the North Dakota Turkey Federation also presented local charities with frozen turkeys. Hoeven spoke about what the  event meant for him.

“It’s to help feed the homeless, feed people that need a meal during this holiday season and, of course, it reminds us all how important it is, as we celebrate the holidays, to make sure that we think of others,” Hoeven said.

(Video of the event will be posted later.)

14 thoughts on “UPDATED: Obama calls Hoeven, briefly delaying turkey pardon

  1. “beings it probably isn’t a good idea”??? Are you seriously a professional reporter???

  2. Oh, jeez… it’s a cute puff piece story, calm down.

    Terri- I thought it was cute and it made me smile, so don’t worry about this person above me.

  3. I really think it’s stupid and sends the wrong message to “pardon” turkeys. It’s just a photo oportunity for some politician. To confuse turkeys, raised for food, with criminals is just wrong.

    It also sends the message that somehow it is better not to eat animals. Just pardon them and let them live out their lives on some wonderful fantasy farm.

    Why feed the whole animals are human movement?

  4. Really Marv? It’s sends the wrong message? Criminals can be incredibly stupid, but I don’t think anyone has appeared in court and said, “Well! But a turkey gets pardoned!!” It’s hard to believe you are “confused” by this “wrong message” btwn pardoning a turkey or pardoning a criminal… I gotta say, honestly, you have to be the only one.

    And someone pardoning a turkey, sure as heck won’t stop me from eating meat. I just won’t eat that one, cuz he’s been pardon, lucky duck (or turkey, I guess)

  5. Just imagine the other way that phone call could have gone. Would you want to be the intern saying “Sorry, Mr. President. Gov. Hoeven can’t come to the phone right now. He’s busy pardoning a turkey.”?

  6. Okay everyone. I believe “concenred reader’s” comment was regarding the poorly written second sentence in the second paragraph. As no one else seems to get that, concerned reader, you should not be surprised that the reporter didn’t catch it either. But then education is all about getting a job. Honking a horn to get a fish doesn’t require much.

  7. Agreed, cute story. Nice to hear about something other than the weather every once and awhile. I don’t think he’s stating not to eat meat. I think it’s merely to “save this turkeys life”. I would be good money Mr. Hoeven will enjoy a beautiful bird with his family in a couple days. As will millions of others.

  8. My favorite part about concerned reader’s complaint is that he/she didn’t even properly quote the sentence that he/she was complaining about. If it had read “beings it probably isn’t a good idea,” I could possibly see a reason to make a comment. But that’s not even how the sentence reads.

    Also, this is a light-hearted piece. A less formal, more “folksy” style is perfectly appropriate here.

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