ABC News' Ann Compton reports: President Obama declared, “you are hereby pardoned from the Thanksgiving table” sparing the lives of two California turkeys in a traditional Rose Garden ceremony. But politics were on his mind. “It feels pretty good to stop at least one ‘shellacking’ this November,” he quipped, a reference to the steep Democratic losses in Congressional elections that he called a shellacking three weeks ago. The 45 pound turkey nicknamed “Apple” gobbled audibly on cue when the President issued the pardon. Apple and his vice-turkey “Cider” had to compete, to music, for the honor. “It’s kind of like a turkey version of Dancing with the Stars,” President Obama said, laughing hard at his own jokes. “Except the stakes for the contestants was much higher. Only one pair would survive and win the big prize. Life.” The Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, did not appear eager to stroke Apple’s white feathers or leathery red skin on his head, but the President did, saying as he turned to leave, “Have a good life, man."