HOUSTON — Soon-to-be retired senator Joe Manchin’s suit was hung from the rafters at ExxonMobil’s headquarters during a tearful farewell ceremony, according to alarmingly wealthy sources who attended.
“To say we’ll miss Joe Manchin is an understatement,” said misty-eyed ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods. “To us, he wasn’t just a politician, he was a friend. I can’t think of another figure in contemporary politics who has done more to advance the agenda of our great industry. This guy wouldn’t say no to anything. Our lobbyists usually have to keep upping the ante to get results, but never with Joe. He would say ‘yes’ to the first offer, every time. It’s as though he loves corruption itself; the money is almost secondary.”
Manchin said he was proud of all he had accomplished in his time as a US senator, but he does have a few regrets.
“If I only had more time,” said the woeful senator as he shredded sensitive documents. “I could’ve done so much more for my good friends in the fossil fuel industry. But I’m getting older, and my grift game ain’t what it used to be. What’s next for ol’ Joe Manchin? Well, maybe Gayle and I will move to our Appalachian cabin full time. From up there, we can sit on the porch and take in the majestic view of the treeless, decimated mountains and the rivers that run black with coal waste spillover. That’s our happy place.”
The tradition of industry giants honoring retired corrupt politicians in this manner goes back generations, according to American University historian Linda Hammond.
“People usually associate the practice of hanging a garment from the rafters with sports teams,” said Hammond. “But there are accounts of this sort of tribute in the political realm dating back centuries. An early documented case was when railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt put the robe of a retired judge on display in his office. The judge, who had a terrible gambling habit and was very amenable to bribes, had been instrumental in facilitating the destruction of poor neighborhoods to make way for Vanderbilt’s railway.”
At press time, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema released a statement reassuring concerned lobbyists that she is young, corrupt, and open for business.