President Obama announced today that he is ordering all flags at all federal buildings lowered to half-staff in honor of Hillary Clinton. “This is not an honor that I bestow lightly,” the President said. “Ask the families of those gallant servicemen who were shot to death recently in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They thought that I would never get around to lowering the flags, but I fooled them, thanks to Vice President Biden, who came up with the idea. Joe is responsible for every bright idea coming out of my administration, such as supporting same-sex marriage and cleaning the body of Osama bin Laden prior to burial, so as not to offend al-Qaeda.”
Mr. Obama’s announcement, which he made this morning in the Rose Garden of the White House, took the press corps by surprise. There had been no previous indication that Mrs. Clinton, who is considered the front-runner among four announced candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, had passed away. In fact, after today’s announcement, two prominent, devoted associates of Mrs. Clinton, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and ersatz journalist George Stephanopolous, issued a joint statement that seemed to contradict what the President said. “We met recently with Secretary Clinton,” the statement declared, “and we feel 95 percent certain that she was alive at that time.”
Vice President Biden was asked to comment, because the President had indicated that the flag-lowering gesture in honor of Mrs. Clinton was his idea. His response was characterized by some of the media as “coy.”
“Some might say that the jury is still out as to whether Hillary is alive,” Biden said, “but have you seen the latest polling results? Hillary is running behind some of the foremost Republican presidential candidates in three swing states. If she is not medically dead, politically she is looking deader every day.”
Asked whether he might enter the race for the Democratic nomination himself, to bolster the party’s chances in the election, the septuagenarian Vice President remained “coy.”
“Let’s just say that the good people of the Democratic Party deserve to have a living candidate, and whatever other qualifications I may or may not have, I am undeniably alive. He then dropped to the ground and performed three push-ups before quitting from exhaustion.
A reporter approached a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton to ask for comment on the conflicting indications that she had died. The spokesman’s response did little to clarify the situation. “It has been Mrs. Clinton’s policy to limit contact with the media at this stage in her campaign, so there will be no comment.”