An AP article this morning said that Jesse Jackson Jr. was on medical leave. The relevant paragraphs:
CHICAGO (AP) — The mystery surrounding U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s leave of absence deepened Thursday as his office disclosed a few more vague details about his medical condition, saying his ailments were "more serious" than previously thought and he needs extended inpatient treatment.
But his staff gave no hint of the congressman's whereabouts or exactly what he was suffering from, saying only that he has grappled with physical and emotional problems "privately for a long period of time" and was at an inpatient facility.
The nine-term Chicago Democrat has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for ties to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and an extramarital affair. Despite a pending U.S. House ethics investigation connected to Blagojevich, he has been widely expected to win re-election in November.
He has been on medical leave for three weeks, though his office didn't disclose his leave until last week — and did so in a meager three-sentence statement saying he was being treated for exhaustion. Neither his family nor his staff has offered more explanation, and the statement Thursday provided few details.
"Congressman Jackson's medical condition is more serious than we thought and initially believed," the statement said. "Recently, we have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time. At present, he is undergoing further evaluation and treatment at an in-patient medical facility."
Multiple messages left for his spokesmen, his brother and his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, were not returned. His father, Rev. Jesse Jackson, said he spoke to his son once recently and he sounded "exhausted and overwhelmed."
Jackson, who first won office in 1995, is facing a House Ethics Committee investigation over allegations that he was involved in discussions about raising money for Blagojevich's campaign in exchange for the then-governor appointing him to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Do Jackson's representatives think they're fooling people with this subterfuge? Is there anyone out there who is not aware that "exhaustion" translates directly as "substance abuse problem" these days?
Is it possible that Jackson is setting up a defense for having tried to bribe Blagoyevich into giving him Obama's Senate seat? As in, I didn't really know what I was doing, since I was under the influence at the time?
Or might it be that Jackson is trying to stir up the sympathy vote before his upcoming reelection bid?
Of course, it is also likely that there is a "medical" issue which requires attention as well.
All this deliberate vagueness and air of mystery that surrounds Jackson's enigmatic illness can only lead most people to think what I am saying here.
I must say, I'm shocked, utterly shocked, that Jackson Jr. would allow himself to get into this kind of trouble. You know, what with his father being such a paragon of self control and moral rectitude.