In her Chicago Sun-Times column, Laura S. Washington contemplates the re-election campaign of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois amid a federal probe and a U.S. House Ethics Committee investigation. The adversity has apparently humbled him, observers say. Washington, however, is not convinced.
Humility? That notion, quaint in today’s scorched-earth political arena, has emerged in U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr.’s battle for his 2nd Congressional District seat.
I ran across a Feb. 28 opinion piece that nailed Jackson’s dilemma. Jackson ally and Park Forest Mayor John A. Ostenburg penned a candid commentary in the E-News Park Forest, a south suburban newsletter.
“Mention to almost anyone the name ‘Jesse Jackson, Jr.,’ and you will likely be met with a visceral reaction: pro or con,” Ostenburg wrote. Ostenburg went on to endorse his friend, noting, “Recently, I have seen a decidedly more humble Jesse Jackson, Jr.”
“Triple J” has long been a lightning rod in his district, which stretches from Chicago’s South Side to the south suburbs to Kankakee. There are far more words than I have space to explain why. Jackson can be charismatic, calculating, brilliant, pugnacious, wily, ambitious, presumptuous, infuriating and boneheaded.
Be he ever so humble? Not the Jackson I know.
His supporters say he has secured hundreds of millions of dollars for the district, and they applaud his single-minded pursuit of economic development via a proposed south suburban airport.
Detractors argue that Jackson is distracted and disconnected. He’s all Big Hat, No Cattle, grasping and untrustworthy.
Back in the day, Triple J was riding high. He was once touted as a potential first black speaker of the U.S. House and for mayor of Chicago.
Read Laura S. Washington's entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.