News & Politics

Today Only: You Can Vote for Your Favorite Turkey at the White House

And by "turkey," we mean it literally.

Photo by Andrea Hanks/White House, courtesy of the National Turkey Federation.

There’s been some speculation about whether Donald Trump will issue presidential pardons during his final weeks in the White House. But there’s at least one pardon happening for sure on Tuesday, November 24, when—in what may be the most endearing as well as corniest of all presidential traditions—an actual turkey will be pardoned by the president in the Rose Garden.

This year’s National Thanksgiving Turkey will be either “Corn” or “Cob,” two turkeys from Iowa that were, as tradition also goes, introduced today at the Willard InterContinental hotel in DC. The fate of the turkeys is in the hands of the public, which gets to vote on which becomes this year’s national bird. Spoiler alert: Both birds, pardon or not, will get to live out their days back at Iowa State University.

Corn may have a slight edge, given that its favorite sport is a crowd-pleaser, college football (versus Cob’s affinity for pickleball). But we have a soft spot for Cob, given its travel goal of “visiting the D.C. monuments.”

You can read about each bird and vote here. You can also vote for which turkey gets pardoned on Twitter.

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.