One big news story is about Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his lengthy absence while he deals with all his problems. I read the Chicago Sun-Times story, “Despite federal probe, mental illness,Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. expected to be re-elected,” by reporters Natasha Korecki and Art Golab, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Jesse Jr. has had an affair, is being investigated for questionable financial activities with Rod Blagojevich and his own funds, and is dealing with bipolar disorder and other personal problems. Other than a recorded phone call to his constituents, he hasn’t really communicated with them and has not been seen publicly for several months. You’d think this would be a public relations disaster, but amazingly, it isn’t. According to the Sun-Times, he has a good chance of being reelected.
It sounds like a joke, and he’s the one laughing because everything he’s doing is counter-intuitive to the public relations process. Usually bad news, affairs, and even questionable criminal activity lead to a bad reputation, but it’s working for him. So the joke’s on us, right?
I’m still scratching my head, but I still won’t give anyone advice to not care nor to use him as an guide. He’s still an example of what not to do, and he’s just very lucky. Very, very lucky. I’m sure a lot of other people in his position would have to go into crisis communications mode, but he has his supporters, and there are even people defending him to the media.
I wonder how long his luck will last. I’m still not laughing, and I will certainly not do what he’s doing, or suggest that to anyone else. The “high road” sometime gets lonely, yet it’s the best way to travel.