Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Meet the Press this morning that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) should follow the example of their home state’s junior Republican senator and keep the public apprised of his rehabilitation from mysterious ailments.
“I don’t have any inside information here. I called Reverend Jackson, his father, this week, and said that our prayers are with his son’s family. We want him to get well and get home soon,” Durbin said.
“I think my colleague Senator [Mark] Kirk has set the right standard by talking about his rehabilitation and the progress he’s making. I hope very, very soon that Congressman Jackson can tell us what he’s facing,” he added.
After raising questions about potential addiction, etc., by dropping out of the public eye, Jackson’s doctor released a statement through the congressman’s office last week saying that he is being treated for a “mood disorder.”
Durbin said he doesn’t think the incident will spell an end to the congressman’s political career.
“I don’t know what his specific challenge is,” the senator said. “But let me tell you members of congress in both parties — men and women — go through a lot of trials, physical and mental trials and they emerge from them stronger. American people and the people of Illinois will stand behind a congressman who is facing his challenges head-on and they’ll support him.”
Kirk, who is issuing periodic updates about his stroke rehabilitation, has not issued comment on Jackson’s case. Kirk’s goal is reportedly to return to the Senate after the August congressional recess.