Pardons, of All Kinds
The Election Connection blog will be on hiatus for the next two weeks, as we take a break for the holidays and get ready for the inauguration and transition.
As we ask for your pardon on taking a short break, it's fun to take a look at the notion of the presidential pardon. Today, President Bush pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey - two turkeys this year, in fact, named Pumpkin and Pecan. You can watch the ceremony here.
The tradition of pardoning a turkey has only been going on for 61 years, since the first national turkey was given to President Harry S Truman in 1947. But allowing the outgoing president to pardon criminals - that's been going on since George Washington's presidency. This piece from NPR, produced after Scooter Libby's conviction last year, looks at some of the most famous presidential pardons, including President Ford pardoning President Nixon after Watergate and President Clinton pardoning financier Mark Rich. But pardons can also show progress--President Clinton pardoned Freddie Meeks, a sailor in World War II who was convicted in a mutiny case that challenged segregation in the armed forces.
But the pardon allowance does makes you wonder... what did the turkeys do that they needed pardoning?
Have a very happy Thanksgiving from the Vote 2008 team. Watch this space for more updates in the coming weeks.