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Where In The World Is Jesse Jackson Jr?

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Oct 4, 2012 10:15PM


The congressman's invisible election campaign continues. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D-Chicago) has been on a leave of absence for four months, and his wife Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) says he might stay on leave through the November election. The Tribune writes:

"I believe at some point in time he will come back. I don't know whether that will be before the election or after the election," she said.

Asked whether voters deserved to hear from the congressman before the election, Sandi Jackson said she "hopes he will be able to do that.

"Again, I know that he is anxious to do so, but he is also under doctor's orders to stay very calm, very quiet, and he is going to do that. So we, right now, are going to continue to wait on the doctors to give us direction on how he should proceed," said Ald. Jackson, speaking to reporters for the first time since she called the media "jackals" at a birthday fundraiser last week.

Jackson went on leave in June, but he waited two weeks before going public with the information, while leaving out many of the details of his health from the public eye. Jackson checked himself into the Mayo Clinic in July for depression and gastrointestinal issues. He was released in September, and he was reportedly back in Washington, D.C., but not back at work.

Jackson long ago passed the deadline for the Democrats to replace him on the ballot. His Republican challenger has been calling for Jackson to either resign or go to work. Independent write-in candidate Rev. Anthony W. Williams claims Jackson isn't sick and is avoiding legal troubles. Democrats have been largely silent on the issue of Jackson's health and campaign.

In most elections, an invisible candidate would mean one would have trouble attracting votes, but Jackson will probably breeze to another term anyway. In August political analyst Dick Simpson said Jackson will probably win by a wide margin. "He won the primary by 75 percent against a former congresswoman with a strong base," Simpson told Patch. "If he can defeat a major candidate, he will defeat the minor candidates he is facing in the general election."

We are happy to see the congressman going public with his disease and seeking the treatment he needs. However, we hope he recognizes that there are millions of people who have bipolar disorder and don't have the health insurance or funds to check into the Mayo Clinic, nor do they have the ability to take four months off of work. His own city shut down a few mental health clinics, and those facilities probably didn't offer the same caliber of care as the Mayo. We hope Jackson keeps that in mind when he is able to return to work.