The Fix: Jesse Jackson Jr

What Jesse Jackson Jr. meant to politics

What Jesse Jackson Jr. meant to politics

Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison Wednesday, the closing chapter in the story of a pol who rapidly ascended the political ladder only to fall quickly and dramatically from public grace.

His story is a reminder of how quickly everything can come crashing down in politics. And the bigger you are, the harder you fall.

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Jay Leno on Jesse Jackson Jr. and the weather (VIDEO)

Former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s admission to misusing campaign funds last week has made him a frequent target on the late-night shows. NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Friday was no exception:

The rise and fall of Jesse Jackson Jr.

The rise and fall of Jesse Jackson Jr.

The political career of Jesse L. Jackson Jr. on Wednesday essentially came to an end -- at least for the immediate future -- as the former Illinois Democratic congressman pleaded guilty to criminal charges against him and admitted using campaign funds to benefit himself and his wife.

The guilty plea caps a remarkable turn for a politician born into an active political family who many believed was destined to serve in Chicago City Hall, or the U.S. Senate, if not the White House.

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Jay Leno on Jesse Jackson Jr.'s legal woes (VIDEO)

Following the news last week that former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged with misusing campaign funds, NBC's Jay Leno took stock of the Democrat's purchases Monday.

"Among the items he bought were Bruce Lee memorabilia, a black and red cashmere cape, and a Michael Jackson hat. Well, at least he didn't waste the money on something stupid," Leno said in his "Tonight Show" monologue.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has resigned from Congress

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has resigned from Congress

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) has resigned from Congress amid mental health issues and a federal investigation into his political dealings.

Jackson submitted a letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in just the last few minutes, according to an aide in Boehner's office.

Jackson's office could not be reached for comment.

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Jesse Jackson Jr.’s untenable no-comment strategy

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) is going to have to answer questions about his unexplained absence from Congress. He just may not know it yet.
In this Oct. 16, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is seen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Jackson’s mysterious hiatus from the House (which his spokesman last week attributed to undefined “physical and emotional ailments”) is raising plenty of eyebrows these days, and both Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) have now urged him to explain himself.

Jackson’s best course is to do just that as quickly as possible, tell the whole truth, and hope that it’s good enough to save what was once a bright political future — or at the very least, his congressional career.

Here’s why.

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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. dealing with severe ‘physical and emotional ailments’

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s office says the Democratic Chicago congressman is struggling with “physical and emotional ailments” worse than previously known.


In this Oct. 16, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is seen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. (Charles Dharapak - Associated Press)
Jackson, 47, has been treated for what his office last week called ”exhaustion.” Now, his office says, things have deteriorated, though a statement declined to say specifically what was ailing Jackson, the son of the civil rights figure and former presidential candidate of the same name.

“Recently, we have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time,” the statement reads. “At present, he is undergoing further evaluation and treatment at an in-patient medical facility. According to the preliminary diagnosis from his doctors, Congressman Jackson will need to receive extended in-patient treatment as well as continuing medical treatment thereafter. We ask that you keep Congressman Jackson and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult period.”

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