Is Barack Obama obligated to speak about Michael Jackson?

Obama_Michael Jackson

One of my Facebook friends’ wrote in her status box that she “is planning on moving out of the country if Prez Obama attends Michael Jackson’s funeral. Ridiculous.”

Strong words. Curious to see what her FB buddies thought of her post, I clicked on her page to read the comments. Three friends seconded her statement with one writing “enough of the Michael Jackson story… Why can’t the media (and government) focus on the real issues?” Another gave it a thumbs up.

The other day I chatted with another friend, who was upset that President Barack Obama had yet to personally make a public statement about the King of Pop’s death, although the Prez did send a condolence letter to the Jackson family. I told this friend that maybe Barack didn’t like MJ. We know he likes Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. But have we ever heard him saying anything about being a MJ fan?

“Who didn’t like Michael Jackson?” she replied.

Good point but there had to be some. Like the aforementioned FB friend and her buds. That’s not to say they didn’t like his music. Who couldn’t? I’m sure Barack, like so many of us, grew up on the Jackson 5 and followed Michael’s amazing solo career. But there are those, me included, who were unable to see his musical genius after while for  all of the news constantly surrounding the troubled star. Dangling his son Blanket over a hotel balcony. Allowing young boys to sleep in the bed with him.  The child molestation charges, although he was found not guilty. The supposed blood bath he took to supposedly put a curse on his enemies, including Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. The seemingly countless plastic surgeries that changed the cute face on  the Right On! magazine covers I taped to my bedroom walls.

My friend compared him to Albert Einstein, saying that all geniuses are just a bit weird so why should MJ be any different.

But the question really is, should Obama be obligated to make a statement about the death of the King of Pop?  Do people expect the Prez to make a statement because he, like MJ, is Black? Would President George W. Bush be expected to talk about Michael Jackson’s death? Interesting enough, Obama adviser David Alexrod reportedly said that Obama was prepared to speak about MJ’s death during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last Friday but no reporters asked the President about MJ. Now when does a politician wait to be asked anything that they really want to say. Um, never! Obviously, if Obama felt strongly enough about the untimely death of arguably the most-talented entertainer in our generation then he would have said something. He didn’t. Sometimes not saying something says a lot.

I admit I got lost in the salacious side of MJ and forgot about his musical ability. I’ve now been reminded and last night bought one of his CDs on I wonder if I should have bought two and sent one to the Prez.



Filed under Entertainment, President Obama

2 responses to “Is Barack Obama obligated to speak about Michael Jackson?

  1. urbantravelgirl

    You know, I too was fascinated with this obsessive, “What will President Obama say about Michael Jackson — and when will he say it?” It may seem crazy for us to care, but in this celebrity-obsessed, 24-hour-news cycle world, we expect Obama to have a well-crafted answer to everything from global warming to the North Korean missile crisis to whether Sarah Palin was right in her fight against David Letterman.

    But a few reasons we DID want to hear his thoughts on MJ: They’re contemporaries, with Michael just a few years older than the Prez himself. Because we all know Obama is a HUGE music buff, we wanted to know if he was an MJ fan, if he had “Thriller” and “Off the Wall” on his iPod. And because we know Obama is cool and in touch with what’s happening in the REAL world, we assume he’s been as touched by Michael’s demise as the rest.

    Hopefully the Commander in Chief considers it a compliment that we actually CARE what has to say in a situation like this which, while it’s not world peace, still matters a heckuva lot to a whole lot of us.


    • I don’t think it’s crazy for us to care Maureen. Obama wouldn’t have been the first sitting president to comment on the death of a huge entertainer. My friend whom I referred to in this post sent me the following:

      Following Presley’s death in 1977, US President Jimmy Carter said, “Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country.”

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