We were spared the typical breakdown of the recipients by gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Half of the AP story focused on Obama himself, not surprisingly, reporting that he eschewed the quiet retreat of Camp David in order to remain in the Executive Mansion. There was no report of who dined with the President and his family, leaving one to ponder who from among the list of usual suspects sat upon his right hand.
A possible family dining tableau
There was, however, an extended paragraph about the menu of the Commander in Chief which listed a "traditional" Thanksgiving menu including both turkey and ham. Left unsaid is the army of White House chefs who prepared the meal. The list did include some nine varieties of pie to cater to Obama's well-known penchant for that dish.
The typical menu of the troops down-range was not mentioned either, though it would appear that the modern logistical system supports a healthy attention to preparing some great feasts for troops in the rear-echelon areas. I can remember on several Thanksgivings during my military career that I squirreled away a Turkey MRE in anticipation of my situation in those instances. (I see that the system has eliminated – with good reason – the Turkey ration from the inventory. Let's just say that it didn't have a reliable shelf life.)
President George W Bush at Baghdad Thanksgiving celebration, 2003
This was the surprise visit that George W Bush paid to Baghdad in 2003 (not his only trip to Indian country), which caused a media feeding frenzy when the press falsely proclaimed that he displayed a plastic turkey. (The report was a desperation move, trying to find anything to criticize.) The reaction in the hall when he walked in was loud and euphoric.
If only our troops in the field could feel as supported today. Instead they have to be worried about their combat pay and other hazardous duty incentives being taken from them.