Can’t Mr. Obama Pardon Anything But Turkeys?!: Le Figaro, France
Is Barack Obama too stingy when it comes to the president’s power to pardon the condemned? On Thursday, like all of his recent predecessors, Mr. Obama will pardon a pair of turkeys. While that’s certainly good news for the two birds, who will escape the fate of 46 million of their fellow turkeys, Le Figaro columnist Veronique Saint-Geours wonders why more human beings don’t warrant similar attention.
For France’s Le Figaro, Veronique Saint-Geours writes in part:
For Thanksgiving, Obama will save a turkey’s life. It’s a privilege of his office to pardon the condemned. Yet since taking office, he hasn’t offered grace to anyone except Courage, the Thanksgiving turkey that was spared in 2009. Can’t Obama do any better?
Legal associations and professionals are perplexed by this attitude. Is Obama trying to show his firmness? Is he trying to show that his priorities are elsewhere? Should there be a new system of pardons? Already, America’s calculating machine has begun to emit statistics. Pardon Power, a blog that discusses the issue of pardons, says that number 44 is the fourth slowest drawing U.S. president when it comes to the right to pardon. Only Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and George Washington were slower. In two terms, Bill Clinton used his clemency 456 times (including 100 hundred just before his departure) and George W. Bush just 200 times.
For the turkey on Thursday, to be pardoned is a wonderful stroke of luck. As Americans eat 46 million of its fellows that day, it will hit the road pampered like a star, headed to a golden retirement.
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