WATCH: Obama spares turkeys from Thanksgiving dinner

He has received a new name and a new lease on life. Now known as "Abe," the Turkey formerly known as "Tom One" has officially been pardoned by President Obama.

With daughters Sasha and Malia by his side, President Obama made the pronouncement at the White House this afternoon. "I know some people think this tradition is a little silly. I don't disagree, I've got to listen to my critics say I'm too soft on turkeys," Obama joked.

Abe's first-class trip to Washington, D.C., began Monday as he was escorted by motorcade to San Francisco's International Airport to board "Turkey One." In Washington, the turkey received luxury accomodations at the Willard Hotel before being provided another motorcade to the White House.

"Tom One" and backup "Tom Two," who has been renamed "Honest," were selected by California elementary school students earlier this month from a farm in Modesto, Calif., to receive the pardon. The new names were selected via a White House Twitter poll. While both turkeys have been spared, only Abe was offered the privilege of receiving the official pardon today in the Rose Garden.