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Plastic Presidency?

Shortly after George W. Bush's surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to troops in Baghdad in November 2003, photographs flashed around the world depicting the smiling president offering a platter with a huge, succulent turkey to US soldiers. Some time later, it was revealed that the turkey in the photograph was in fact a fake "model" which had adorned the end of the buffet line. Moreover, soldiers had been served their meals using standard cafeteria-style trays.

Though the event was obviously carefully scripted, White House officials told the Washington Post that they had not been aware of a "trophy" turkey. Asked whether the turkey was genuine, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan wisely deflected attention to the White House Christmas tree which was about to be unveiled: "The tree today," he said, "as far as I know, is real."

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