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CHICAGO (CBS) — It appears that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) has been thinking about his political future since he has been in the hospital.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Jackson has not been seen publicly for almost two months. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says he is there being treated for depression and abdominal issues, and according to a source who talked to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, Jackson has thought about ending his political career.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
The source tells Sneed that Jackson is “very aware his re-election bid is in November,” and is “under intense pressure to make a statement personally about his situation.”
The source also said Jackson’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) is under pressure to return to work, Sneed reported.
The source did not directly address the Jacksons’ relationship, but did tell Sneed that the alderman “knows it’s the Jacksons’ family name and power which netted her the aldermanic job,” and that the back-and-forth trips before Chicago and Washington have been “hard on their family life,” the Sun-Times reported.
The congressman’s prolonged absence has stirred debate over how private a public figure’s personal issues should become. Once a rising Democratic star, Jackson Jr. has more recently received wide, unwanted attention over allegations that a fund-raiser tried to secure a U.S. Senate appointment for him by raising campaign money for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich was convicted of federal corruption charges, and the fund-raiser has been indicted on unrelated tax charges.
Jackson Jr. has denied any wrongdoing.