WASHINGTON — In the absence of President Obama, a napping Vice President Biden was delicately awoken by White House staff so that he might deliver a few jumbled lines about the worsening situation in Ukrainian capital Kiev, where clashes between protesters and government forces have left 25 dead and hundreds injured.
“The United States is gravely concerned about this grave situation, in, uh, Ukraine,” Biden said, clearing gunk from his eyes and the corners of his mouth. “We appeal for a de-escalation, and an outcome that will, you know, please all sides.”
Biden urged Ukrainian president Alexander Litvinenko “to exercise restraint and pull back government forces,” before being told by a White House staffer that Alexander Litvinenko was actually a deceased Russian dissident. Biden then implored Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko “to engage in dialogue with the protestors and address their legitimate grievances,” before being told by the aide that Viktor Yushchenko is the former president.
“In any case, if the Iranians feel like changing their president, that’s fine by us,” Biden said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney is expected to be asked to cancel today’s lunch plans with his wife so that he might officially parrot what Biden has emphatically stated. Sources indicate Carney has been practicing how to say “President Viktor Yanukovych” for several hours, and will try to discreetly correct Biden’s stated errors.