Eighty Percent of Success Is Just [Not] Showing Up: Jesse Jackson Jr. Releected Despite Disappearance For Months

It appears that Woody Allen was wrong when he famously said that “eighty percent of success is showing up.” Jesse Jackson Jr. proved yesterday that success can be just not showing up. While Republicans are grappling this morning with the rather pathetic image of Todd Akin in Missouri, Democrats have Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois. At least Republicans can point out that their leadership opposed Akin and he was defeated. Jackson won reelection despite his disappearance for months from office and failure to actually campaign. He won despite rising allegations of corruption and his long-term residency in the Mayo Clinic for whatever are believed to be psychiatric problems. He won despite not explaining any of this to this constituents. Like Akin, the thought of withdrawing for the benefit of his constituents never appeared to a serious consideration. Yet, the people of the Illinois 2nd congressional district reelected him to Congress by a 63 percent vote.


After disappearing from June to November from the public eye with both reporters and constituents speculating for weeks on where he was like some bizarre game of “Where’s Waldo?” He first went to Arizona and then ended up at Mayo diagnosed with bipolar depression and gastrointestinal issues.

I am sympathetic with Jackson seeking mental health treatment and, if a member can recover from such an illness, I would commend constituents in supporting him. Jackson however simply disappeared and refused to answer the most basic questions about his whereabouts or condition. This occurred at a time when he was under serious ethical investigation for his alleged role in offering cash to then-Gov. (now convicted) Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a Senate seat.

Then there is the criminal investigation in October that Jackson has committed an array of financial improprieties, including possible misuse of funds monitored by Congress to decorate his Washington D.C. Home. Of course, Jackson was not challenged on his explanation of these ethical and criminal allegations because he offered no explanation during his campaign. Indeed, he had no campaign. Unlike the GOP leadership and Mitt Romney with regard to Akin, there was no move by President Obama or Democratic leaders to push Jackson out of the race. No one wanted to face his powerful father, Jesse Jackson, Sr.

While refusing to respond to questions during the campaign, Jackson did respond to his reelection and assured constituents that “Everyday, I think about your needs and concerns. Once the Doctors approve my return to work, I will continue to be the progressive fighter you have known for years.” Well, not recently.

Source: NBC

36 thoughts on “Eighty Percent of Success Is Just [Not] Showing Up: Jesse Jackson Jr. Releected Despite Disappearance For Months

  1. They did it because an absent, mentally troubled JJ jr. was still better than the alternative.

    Like any addict, until the GOP admits they have a problem they are never going to get on the road to recovery.

    I wish the best for Mr. Jackson’s recovery, he is getting the care he needs. Mr. Akin on the other hand refuses care.

  2. My prediction that Obama would win by 3% (popular vote), dems would gain one or more seats in the Senate, and dems would take back the House, was 2/3rd correct.

    I still don’t understand the House result, usually the rising tide floats all boats.

  3. It is the difference between a legitimate illness and a legitimate rape. Ask Jane Doe of Roe v. Wade. This blog has missed the real story behind the legitimate rape story and I was not about to wash it up on shore and help out Todd. Carl Rowan revealed the story many years ago. One of the plaintiffs in Roe et al v. Wade was the fictitious Jane Doe. Jane lied about her pregnancy and said that she was raped when in fact she was legitimately porked. Here Jesse is ill and this blog wants to out him for being a drunk or something. Those who can Preach. Those who cant Preach teach. Those who cant teach, teach teachers. Well, teach us what is wrong with Jesse or go the next step and teach teachers instead of students.

  4. I have complete empathy for people w/ mental illness. It controlled the life of an aunt I loved dearly. However, my professional skepticism mitigates my empathy in this case. I think the next question is will Jackson, Jr. be reelection from Federal prison in 2014? “Chicago..Chicago, that toddlin’ town.”

  5. “Dredd
    1, November 7, 2012 at 8:41 am
    I was amazed at how many unopposed (no opposing candidate) Republicans were on the Texas ballot. Talk about just showing up …”

    Well, playing at a poker table where the deck is stacked is just throwing your money away.

    SwM, says “gerrymandaring”. True, but I am reminded of what the professor (?) said: Cooruption can eaasier occur on the local plan.

  6. And I was embarrassed to live in the state where Aiken was running. Thank you Missouri voters for responding. Shame on the Democratic leadership in not calling for Jackson’s resignation.

  7. Jesse Jackson Jrs constituants aren’t getting the representation they deserve. Gabrille Giffords probably have gotten reelected if she ran because of the sympathy

  8. Juris,

    Some belong to the protected class.

    You should have seen the face Obama gave Joe Biden when Joe got overexcited in the victory parade on stage. Some get walking papers and some do not.

    Pappas count. Take Dubja Bush’s for an example. Can fix dumb son a job as President. Outstanding!

  9. I’ve been told that his supposed mental illnesses, and that “bipolar” psychobabble will no doubt be used as justification for a presidential pardon. Didn’t Michelle attend school with Santita and remain friends all these many years?

  10. If Jackson is truly ill, his consituents should consider that. If he is guilty of illegal acts, that will catch up with him, no matter what is health situation is. Mental Health issues should be treated no differently than physical health issues.

  11. John, from the post:

    “Of course, Jackson was not challenged on his explanation of these ethical and criminal allegations because he offered no explanation…”

    That in and of itself is all you need to know. Not to mention that he was “missing” for five months. Think about that, a U.S. Congressman… missing? He was hired to represent his constituents, which he is clearly not doing.

    Would your employer keep you on the job (and pay you) if you just decided to not show up for a few months? I think not.

  12. Juris 1, November 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

    John, from the post:

    “Of course, Jackson was not challenged on his explanation of these ethical and criminal allegations because he offered no explanation…”

    That in and of itself is all you need to know. Not to mention that he was “missing” for five months. Think about that, a U.S. Congressman… missing? He was hired to represent his constituents, which he is clearly not doing.

    Would your employer keep you on the job (and pay you) if you just decided to not show up for a few months? I think not.
    ===============================================
    There are a lot of House members whom I would advocate paying not to show up.

  13. His honest constituents would admit the very obvious reason why they voted for him, and I don’t believe for a minute, that they are any more informed about anything than people who blindly vote for Joe Blow because Joe’s a Republican.

    Go ahead. Say it. I’m still right.

  14. LOL, Sometimes the guy that doesn’t show up is still the best candidate- I voted for a DEAD MAN against John Ashcroft and so many of us thought the DEAD GUY was the better candidate that HE WON! WOO HOO!

    Here’s the info on Jackson’s opponent. His positions are clothed in politics-speak but they seem to be the standard Republican economic ideology, favors the Keystone pipeline, and Obamacare is bad, blah bah, blah. If I lived in that district I might have voted for the sick/absent/crooked guy, in fact, I know I would have. Once you vote for the dead guy, nothing is off the table :-)

    Brian Woodworth:

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Brian_Woodworth

  15. The dead guy. *snort*giggle*snort*

    After that election, that Bush made that half-wit Ashcroft AG still makes me dizzy.

  16. Gene, dizzy and then some here. I felt so bad about that, because we here in MO. knew what a monster he was, that I just screamed with rage. How could he (Bush) do that to our country? That was, as it turned out, among the least of the nations betrayals at Bush’s hands but still… I figured though that if Ashcroft hadn’t been available Bush would have just appointed some other bottom of the barrel AG. I didn’t spend a lot of time “what-if”ing my vote. That vote kind of rattled me actually but it was a good a good spur to change my merely pessimistic outlook about politics. Cynicism serves me better.

  17. And this is why you all are frauds.

    Will you please just man up, grow a set and say what needs to be said…JJJr’s actions are reprehensible. It is a major part of the problem we have in American politics. How can you trust any of the these people? (um..well, it’s clear that you folks will trust anyone with a D after their name, even dead people, *snort*giggle*snort*!!! )

    Not one of you frauds even mentioned that he should have stepped down and let another candidate with a D take his place (the only qualification Gene an lk need apparently).

    That you openly dismiss this confirms that you are no better than the red necks down south who vote against anyone with a D.

    Now back to work…gotta support the $50 trillion in unfunded Medicare liabilities to keep Gene’s ticker beating.

  18. Me,

    See, assumptions will make an ass out of you, but you simply come to the game with a head start when you argue straw men. Your straw man doesn’t hold up. 1) I’m not a Democrat. 2) The dead man in question – Mel Carnahan – died literally on the eve of the election. There wasn’t time to change the ballots before polling. In an ideal world, yes, replacing him with an alternative candidate would have been the preferred option. None of which mitigates that John Ashcroft is an incompetent no matter what his party affiliation might be. The choice in that particular election was dead man versus jackass, not D versus R. Nice try though. And by nice try I mean really weak and pathetic.

    In the future, if you just want me to make you look like a fool (again)? I’m glad to oblige. You do all the heavy lifting in that regard.

  19. Talk about looking like a fool.

    What a egotistical dope to think I was just speaking to you. To make you look like a fool requires no easy lifting, you provide all the evidence for it in your quick replies.

    Do you really think you are all that to think when I say “you all”, what I really mean is “Gene”?

    Clearly you feel like you are the bodyguard for all the other weenies on this page but make no mistake, you are 150 pounds physically and mentally but 250 pounds egotistically. All ego…no brains, no braun.

    Your next good come back will be your first. Here’s a hint, you aint learning much drinking your sanka at Denny’s reading your Political Science rags.

    And my point that JJJr should have stepped aside and allowed another D to run in his place stands… unchallenged as of yet.

  20. You mentioned my name, dipstick. Talking about me specifically as you did is just as good as talking directly to me. As for Jackson? That’s also a straw man. I never mentioned what I thought should have been done in that situation so you simply made something up for me. Again, a massive fail at doing anything other than making a fool of yourself. You’re really good at that.

    I’d suggest you try to learn to think in something other than logical fallacies, but you seem to be thinking impaired all the way around.

  21. The “Fat Lady” lis in the wings, practicing her scales. Unfortunately the Democratic Party in Cook County will no doubt pick a real hack (possibly his wife) to run in the special election to replace him. I live in his district and have voted for JJJr., but he’s really just become another greedy, theiving hack. I’ve always suspected a special phone call was made from Eric Holder to the US Attorney in Chicago to keep him out of the Blagojevich prosecution. I suspect JJJr. has known he was going down on this for many months, and that it was orchestrated to occur post-presidential and congressional election in order to keep the POTUS out of the frey during Blago’s trial and to allow the local Dem Party to stear the special election to the next feckless “golden child”. For yucks, google the history of Illinois 2nd Congressional Dist.

    http://www.suntimes.com/16234631-418/sneed-exclusive-jesse-jackson-jr-in-plea-deal-talks-with-feds-sources.html

  22. Oh lookey that Gene. You are right. I did mention you. Even through your bifocals you saw your name. Good for you!

    I’m man enough to admit I slipped up. I meant to write “pompous, self-aggrandizing, elitist, snob”. But I wrote Gene instead.

    My bad.

  23. seamus,
    trying to get back on topic here, thanks for the link to the article. According to that article, it appears that the federal probe into the allegations began before Jackson’s “leave.” I am guessing that is what triggered the mental breakdown. I am surprised Repubs are not all over this.

    “I suspect JJJr. has known he was going down on this for many months, and that it was orchestrated to occur post-presidential and congressional election in order to keep the POTUS out of the frey during Blago’s trial and to allow the local Dem Party to stear the special election to the next feckless “golden child”.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

  24. Swarthmore mom 1, November 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Dredd, It is called gerrymandering.
    =======================================
    I have the evidence to prove you are correct.

    Will finalize it tomorrow.

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