President Obama Remembers Jackson the Icon While Keeping in Mind the 'Sad and Tragic' Parts of His Life

At today's White House briefing, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he and President Obama talked this morning about Michael Jackson's death.

"He said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer and a music icon and I think everybody remembers hearing his songs and watching him moonwalk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary," Gibbs said.

"But the president also said, look, he had aspects of his life that were sad and tragic," Gibbs continued.

Gibbs said the president's "condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans that mourn his loss." (He didn't actually call them, this in itself was the condolence message, via Gibbs.)

Why didn't he issue a statement? Gibbs was asked.

"Because I'm saying it right now," Gibbs said.

Gibbs intimated that the president was prepared to speak about Jackson at the joint press availability earlier today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, though no reporter asked about it.

-- jpt

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