Jesse Jackson, Jr. Back In Washington, Likely To Return To Congress

After being out of sight for nearly three months, including extended stays at facilities in Arizona and at the Mayo Clinic where he was being treated for severe depression,Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is back in Washington, D.C. and may be returning to Congress soon:

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), who has been undergoing treatment at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder, has returned to Washington, D.C., as first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Jackson spokesman Rick Bryant said he “wasn’t sure” whether Jackson would be on Capitol Hill next week when the House returns from its August recess.

Jackson has been suffering from mental health issues since mid-June, when he collapsed from exhaustion at home in Washington and was taken to the hospital. For two weeks, the reason for his sudden disappearance was kept under wraps.

The congressman’s office then put out a statement saying Jackson was taking a medical leave of absence due to exhaustion. In early August, his wife told the Sun-Times that Jackson was “debilitated by depression” and was going to the Mayo Clinic for further screening. She suggested his 2004 weight-loss surgery may have played a role. A week later, the clinic put out a statement announcing that Jackson was suffering from bipolar II disorder, calling it “a treatable condition.”

At the very least, politics aside it’s good to see the Congressman out of treatment. Hopefully this means he’s on the road to recovery.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. superdestroyer says:

    Of course there is zero chance that JJ Jr will lose his election bid. ONe has to love democracy where most politicians are in such safe districts that the politicians can not do there jobs for three months and no one cares.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Simply, I wish him well in his recovery.

    Bi-polar disorder is serious, I’m not sure that Congress is the best place for him to be given his condition, although I have to admit, there may be many more members of the House that are afflicted with this disorder. It would certainly explain the general tenor of the House since 2010.

  3. bill says:

    @superdestroyer: i doubt if they even noticed. i thought it was a ruse to keep the investigators at bay.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    The brain is an organ, just like the liver or the lungs. It’s a very complex organ and a lot can go wrong with it. We have got to outgrow this outdated notion of “mental” illness. It’s an illness affecting the brain and is not fundamentally different than kidney disease or skin cancer. Like any other illness you get the best treatment you can, you hope for the best, and everyone should wish you well.

    The criteria for judging whether a person with a brain illness can continue in office should be the same as for a person with anything from kidney stones to pancreatic cancer: can they do the job.

  5. Michael,

    Agreed completely. And I’d add that what seems like a national phobia about discussing mental illness as an illness is one of the factors that leads to the Jared Loughner’s and James Holmes’s of the world going largely untreated until they end up hurting other people.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    JJ Jr was not working for three months due to depression. Of course, unlike Kidney diseases or cancer, there is no definitive means of diagnosis. It is just based upon the profressional opinion of a physician. No x-rays, no physical symptons, no pathology.

    If JJ Jr was in the military, his clearance would have been taken away. Why should someone get to be in Congress when under federal regulations, they are not qualified to operate a nuclear power plant, work with classified materials, or even drive a fuel tanker truck?

  7. michael reynolds says:


    What you’re doing is attacking a person for being sick, in order to push your own personal political agenda. I won’t won’t bother to characterize that behavior of yours.

    Depression is diagnosed all the time. There are distinct criteria recognized by professionals in the field. There are treatments, some of which are more effective than others. There are also untreatable cases. Thousands die every year as a direct consequence of depression, often by suicide.

    I don’t know if you have anyone in your life that you care about or love, but you may want to take a moment and think about how you react to other people’s pain, and how you try to exploit a person’s illness.

    I can tell you with absolute certainty that the day will come, my little friend, when it’s you on the wrong end of cancer or heart disease or depression or emphysema or whatever. As you sow, so may you reap.

  8. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I always love how progressives make excuses for the hypocrisy of the elites of the U.S. If Mr. Jackson worked at a nuclear power plant he would be removed from his job. If Mr. Jackson was in the military and assigned to a nuclear capable unit, he would be removed.
    If Mr. Jackson was an INTEL analysis at the CIA, he would not be allowed to continue.

    So are you really going to argue that an engineer at a nuclear power plant is more criticial to the U.S. than a Congressman. If Congress does not want to have to step down from doing their job due to mental illness, then they should pass laws that require others to do the same.

  9. michael reynolds says:


    So are you really going to argue that an engineer at a nuclear power plant is more criticial to the U.S. than a Congressman. If Congress does not want to have to step down from doing their job due to mental illness, then they should pass laws that require others to do the same.

    Really? You’re going to play word games with me?

    Hmmm. Am I going to tell you that an engineer at a nuclear power plant is more critical to the US than a Congressman? Congress. . . nuclear power plant.

    No. I’m going to tell you that a nuclear engineer is more important to the functioning of a potentially extremely dangerous piece of machinery, than one Congressman from Illinois is to . . . well, anything, really.

    Chernobyl? Fukushima? One engineer looking the wrong way for five minutes can do a whole hell of a lot of damage. Whereas Congressmen have been showing up for work drunk, stupid, and otherwise incapacitated for 200 plus years. In fact, during the 18th and 19th century I’d be willing to bet that “drunk” was more or less the average of all Congressmen. Folks liked their whisky back in the day.

    But since you want to play, let’s play. You’re a pretty open racist, you don’t hide it as successfully as most, or maybe you just don’t care to, and at some level I prefer your honesty. But of course your attitudes disqualify you for all kinds of jobs, ranging from teacher to cop to soldier. In fact, very few occupations look kindly on white supremacists. In fact: none.

    So, am I going to tell you that a Congressman being treated for an illness like depression or bi-polar disorder is more of an asset for the U.S. than a dim, obsessed, and frankly repetitive racist?

    Yes. I am going to tell you that. Insofar as you are honest about your mental condition, you are essentially unemployable outside of, I don’t know, a tobacco shop in South Carolina or a junk yard in Alabama.

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I guess when progressives have nothing to say tha resort to name calling.

    I have always found it odd that progressives believe that to notice the differences between means when it comes to whites and blacks, then one is a racist.

    If you are goin to call anyone a racist you should be calling Rep. Jackson a racist since he believes that blacks should receive government benefits just for being blacks. Rep Jackson also believes that blacks should be held to a different standard when it comes to educational opportunities, employment, government contracting, school discipline, the justice system, etc.

    If being a racist made one unfit for service, then no member of the Congressional
    Black Caucus would be fit to be in Congress. However, since they are liberals, you will tolerate them being racist. Of course, I am not going to call you a racist just because you support separate and unequal government and believe that calls for equal protection are racist.

  11. michael reynolds says:


    I note that you don’t deny being a racist.

    The rest of your comment is nonsense. Lies. Absurdity. Your usual menu.

  12. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That is all you have to say. No defense of the Congressional Black Caucus. No defense of your name calling. No defense of your support of separate and unequal. All you want to do is name call and nitpick someone who is a demographic realist?

  13. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Is it really nonesense that the Congressional Black caucus has been open in their support of racial reparations? Is it nonsense that such a government program would be blatantly unconstitutional. Is it nonesense that progressives have been in front of the Supreme Court many times arguing that the state should be able to discriminate against whites. What do you think the progressives will be arguing in the upcoming Supreme Court case? Do you think that people like Jesse Jackson Jr. would argue for equal protection for all or for separate and unequal.