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Talking turkey: Obama gets his pick

WASHINGTON DC - NOVEMBER 26:  At two feet tall about 38 pounds two full-grown broad breasted white domesticated turkeys

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: At two feet tall and about 38 pounds, two full-grown broad breasted white domesticated turkeys are paraded before members of the news media in the Crystal Ballroom of the Willard InterContinental November 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. The birds were raised by the National Turkey Federation Chairman John Burkel of Badger, Minnesota, and one of the turkeys will be pardoned Wednesday by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

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Early & Often: White House turkey death panel
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Updated: December 28, 2013 6:33AM



The name game. . .

Finally, President Barack Obama got his way.

He didn’t have to bypass Congress.

He didn’t have to sweet talk the press.

He didn’t have to filibuster, veto or stall.

He just made an immediate executive decision.

Sneed is told Obama dissed a list of contest-winning name selections for the two Thanksgiving turkeys scheduled for a White House pardon Wednesday — and chose other names instead.

◆ Translation: An online contest using names submitted by students at Badger, Minn., schools was conducted by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, in charge of delivering the two Minnesota gobblers to the White House.

◆ Easy shot: The Obama family was to choose from the top three names in the contest: 1) Viking and Gunnar, 2) Gobblynob and Butterfluff, 3) Ole and Sven.

◆ End shot: The three choices were ignored — and instead, the names “Popcorn” and “Caramel” were picked from the bottom of a list submitted by the students.

◆ Final shot: The White House is now offering its own online contest, where people can vote on which turkey is the National Thanksgiving Turkey — and which is the alternate.

Zach attack. . .

What wasn’t reported: U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon, 47, who was roasted by friends and family at his swearing-in ceremony Monday for rear-ending a police car shortly after he got his driver’s license, had a reason for the unfortunate mishap.

◆ Translation: The 16-year-old Fardon was apparently reaching for an E.L.O. (Electric Light Orchestra) tape.

◆ Chirped former U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar: “When I was U.S. attorney, we ended public corruption, so you won’t have to deal with that.”

Now aren’t you glad you read Sneed.

Rahm ’em. . .

◆ Kiss. Kiss. Mayor Rahm Emanuel managed a little flower power Tuesday by dispatching one dozen long-stemmed red roses to City Council Budget Committee Chairman Ald. Carrie Austin. . . after the city budget got passed Tuesday. Natch.

◆ Candy’s dandy: In keeping with Rahm’s version of an old White House tradition of betting on votes, Ald. Marge Laurino won a box of Margie’s Candies by hitting the tab of 45-to-5 in the budget vote outcome.

◆ Squawk talk: Emanuel hosts Thanksgiving dinner with his entire family — including equally audible brothers Ari and Zeke — in Chicago this year, the day before the Rahmster turns 54.

◆ Hug. Hug. Rahm and his old White House buddy, Veep Joe Biden, ate at a private management office at Mastro’s Monday, pulled up their socks and exchanged old war stories.

No Gore gobbling. . .

Ditching the drumstick: Following in the footsteps of his boss, former Vice President Al Gore has now become a vegan, just like Bill Clinton. Zzzzzzzzz.

The Quinn bin. . .

In case you are interested, Gov. Pat Quinn will start his Thanksgiving morning playing basketball, and then will head to the home of his brother, Tom, to have turkey dinner with his 96-year-old mother, Eileen.

Giving back. . .

State top cop Hiram Grau, who has a heart bigger than his holster, is heading down to storm-ravaged Washington, Ill., Wednesday to deliver $15,000 in fast cash from a special fund to two state troopers who lost their homes: Troopers Miles Walsh and Sadie Conner.

“It’s to pick up their spirits for Thanksgiving, get them back on their feet,” Grau told Sneed.

Sneedlings. . .

Wednesday’s birthdays: Robin Givens, 49; Caroline Kennedy, 56, and happy belated to Sarah Hamilton, ageless.



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