What? No statement from the Commander in Chief on the passing of Michael Jackson?! Even when, as Michael Shear reminds, it took Obama no time at all a few weeks ago to "express his sadness to the people of Gabon on the sudden death of notorious dictator President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon."
Spokesman Robert Gibbs explained at today's White House briefing:
I talked to him about it this morning. Look, [the president] said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer and a music icon. I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary. But the president also said, look, he had aspects of his life that were sad and tragic. And his condolences went out to the Jackson family and to the fans that mourned his loss.
The White House press corps was not satisfied.
"Why not a written statement?" a reporter asked.
“Because I just said it," Gibbs replied.
"Did he call the family?"
“Not that I know of,” said Gibbs.
Probably he wants to avoid anything even close to this.
Which is smart. The last thing No-drama Obama needs is to get himself tangled up in a Demerol-connected celebrity death mess that's only just beginning.