Friend of Jesse Jackson Jr. Responds

Posted September 12, 2013 at 3:19pm

Ned Brown, a reader of Wednesday’s A Question of Ethics post on Jesse L. Jackson Jr., sent the following response, which raises the question of why some politicians break laws governing political conduct:

I read your [column] this afternoon coincidentally after having spent 2 hrs w Jesse this morning; he’s a close friend. On one hand, he is incredibly bright and gifted. On the other, he did something incredibly stupid and selfish. I still do not fully comprehend why, beyond narcissism, which just about every politician is guilty of.

I will add this about Jesse and his situation: he is truly sorry for the shame he brought on his family, his fellow members of Congress (who he considers extended family), and damaging the image of the institution. He is very direct that he wants to serve his time in a way that will make him a better person. And upon leaving the criminal justice system, he looks forward to devoting his future years and efforts to something worthwhile. While he is ashamed of what he did, Jesse hopes his future works will also be part of defining the mosaic of Jesse Jackson Jr’s life.