For one day each year, the turkey gets its time to shine. While most of that shining is done quite literally, as the glazed centerpiece of Thanksgiving feasts around the nation, a few fortunate fowl are granted pardons and given a chance to live out their not-so-long lives in greener pastures, awkwardly bobbing their heads, crying gobble-gobble and whatever else it is that turkeys do.

Those symbolic pardons may make the turkey eaters among us feel somewhat better about stuffing our faces with coma-inducing amounts of gravy-smothered poultry, yet during one such event in 2008, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) managed to tear the mask (or head?) off the whole charade. We'll call it the greatest turkey-related disaster in the history of politics.

Fresh off a defeat in the 2008 presidential election, Palin headed to a turkey farm in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, to pardon a local bird -- a common practice among governors.

Palin delivered her prepared remarks over frequent interruptions from clucking birds not as fortunate as the turkey getting the reprieve. She even touted herself as a "friend to all creatures great and small" before posing for a photo op.

What happened next was entirely unexpected. While many had recently learned that Palin could be unpredictable -- even a maverick, perhaps -- Americans couldn't have foreseen her conducting a lengthy on-camera interview while live birds were being fed into a machine of mass turkey murder mere feet behind her.

Palin seemed to unwittingly nail her remarks, commenting on the need to find "levity" in her job as turkey after turkey was decapitated by the metal cone of death in the background. The man shoving the struggling birds into the device even looked up toward Palin and the camera as the governor presciently predicted that the spectacle would invite skepticism.

(The goriest moments have been censored in the video above.)

Although her office later denied that she'd known what was playing out behind her, Palin was reportedly asked if she wanted that particular backdrop for her interview, to which she replied, "No worries."

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  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON

    US President Barack Obama (2nd L) gestures with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) in the Rose Garden of the White House during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21, 2012 in Washington, DC, as National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen holds Cobbler. Obama pardoned turkeys Cobbler and Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The turkeys were raised by Craig and Nancy Miller in Rockingham County, Virginia. AFP Photo/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha (R) arrive for the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21 , 2012 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON

    US President Barack Obama (2nd L) pets Cobbler with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) in the Rose Garden of the White House during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21, 2012 in Washington, DC, with National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (L). Obama pardoned turkeys Cobbler and Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The turkeys were raised by Craig and Nancy Miller in Rockingham County, Virginia. AFP Photo/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON-OBAMA

    Sasha Obama (2nd R) pets Cobbler as US President Barack Obama (2nd L), her sister Malia (R) and National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (L) look on during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkey will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama gestures during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon while National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen holds 'Cobbler' on November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkey will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) take part in the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon as on National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (L) watches November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkey will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-POLITICS-TURKEY-PARDON-OBAMA

    US President Barack Obama laughs with his daughter Malia who avoided petting turkey Cobbler as National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (2nd L) and daugher Sasha look on during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkey will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)