Congressmen Danny Davis and Bobby Rush both went to visit Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. this week as Jackson was on his way back to the Mayo Clinic. Jackson has been embattled recently after some constituents have called for his resignation after he’s laid ill for the past several months due to a bout with depression.
Rush and Davis both say that there were tears and laughter being shared during their visit with Jackson and that they sat with him for 90 minutes.
“He knows he is experiencing some extreme difficulties,” Davis said.
They both claim that Jackson is entirely unaware of all of the media coverage that has occurred since he took time away from office. The heat has come down on Jackson from both his constituents and federal investigators who are looking into allegations of corruption. Also, their portrayal of Jackson as being unaware of the media frenzy is in contrast to reports stating that he has trouble visiting his doctor because of the risk of running into cameras.
Rush says that Jackson’s “actions have been misread” and that he has only missed 32 days since falling ill in June of this year. He feels that Jackson has been entirely capable of protecting those he was elected to serve.
“Nothing occurred in those 32 days where his constituents suffered,” Rush said.
“He expressed a great deal of concern for his family [and] a great deal of concern for his constituents,so that decisions he would have to make would be based upon a solid foundation of good solid mental and emotional healing,” said Davis.
Both men said that Jackson should be allowed to continue to serve, but they were unresponsive when asked about how a congressman who can’t even campaign would be able to do his job.
“He should be given the opportunity to serve, based on the entirety of his record,” Rush said.
Rush noted that if you are chosen as the nominee in a heavily Democratic district, you are almost always going to be re-elected.
“This man had to go to an emergency room,” Rush said. “That’s how mental illness works.”
Jackson has a huge lead over his opponent, Brian Woodworth. So, even without campaigning, Jackson may still be able to keep his job.