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The two turkeys for this year’s White House Turkey Pardoning are currently living it up in Washington, DC. After landing from Iowa on Sunday, November 22,  the finalists were welcomed in a red carpet reception and hosted in a five-star suite at the Willard Hotel, where they’re basking in luxury before one of them will be pardoned by Donald Trump at the traditional White House ceremony tomorrow.

The two birds, named Corn and Cob, were hatched on July 2 and raised by Ron Kardel, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, in Walcott, Iowa. The public is invited to vote online between the avian candidates.

Corn, known to be chatty but adventurous, takes their name from their favorite snack: sweet corn. Their favorite pastime is storm chasing, according to the White House. Cob, who is a pound lighter (41 pounds), is more into soybeans, pickleball, and puzzles.

The White House released official photos of the esteemed birds, showing them posing for cameras on the red carpet and enjoying the Willard’s luxurious beds before their big day tomorrow. Taken in the style of TMZ or E! News, the photos are entertaining but undeniably cheesy. They are available for free use on the White House Flickr page.

The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation is a tradition that goes back to 1947. President George H. W. Bush was the first to formally grant the bird a Presidential pardon in 1989. Former President Barack Obama famously spared the lives of both birds (Tater and Tot) in his last year in office in 2016. In the case of Donald Trump, it’s unclear who should be pardoning who.

Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...