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CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. broke her silence about her son’s illness, acknowledging the congressman has had trouble dealing the “enormous disappointment” over the past few years.
“I’m not ashamed to say,” Jacqueline Jackson said at a speech at an Operation PUSH luncheon on Friday, “he thought he was going to be a senator. He thought he was going to have a chance to run for mayor. And young people don’t bounce back from disappointment like me and my husband.”
Jackson Jr. was once in line to succeed Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate before he became entangled in the corruption scandal of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted to trying to sell the Senate appointment to the highest bidder. A Jackson fund-raiser allegedly told Blagojevich he could raise millions of dollars for him if he named Jackson to the seat.
That scandal torpedoed any mayoral hopes for the congressman, who has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Jackson Jr. has taken a leave of absence from Congress for about the past month, while he gets treatment for what his doctors are calling a “mood disorder.”
Mrs. Jackson said that young people need to understand that nothing in life is certain.
“We don’t believe a darn thing until we see it,” she said. “You’re going to have to show us. We’re from Missouri. But young people also need to listen. They need to make themselves available to understand many of the illusions and the trinkets that are being dangled in front of their faces.”
Mrs. Jackson also asked for prayers and privacy.
“My son, is unwell, and he needs a moment to heal. And I ask you to pray for me without cease. Do for me what I’ve done for you. I want you to respect that. Give us a moment. Most of all for him.”