The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.
- Oscar Wilde, British Author and Wit (1854-1900)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Senior staffers of U.S. Rep. David Wu were so alarmed over the Oregon Democrat’s erratic behavior just days before the November election that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment, a newspaper reported Friday evening.
The Oregonian, citing interviews with a number of anonymous staff members, reported on its website that Wu was increasingly unpredictable on the campaign trial and in private last fall, and had several angry and loud outbursts and sometimes said “kooky” things to staff and potential voters and donors. A similar report was carried on the Willamette Week newspaper’s website on Friday.
The fact that Wu was in the middle of a difficult re-election campaign from his Portland-area district made his behavior particularly worrisome to staff who organized a meeting with the congressman at his campaign headquarters on Oct. 30, with a psychiatrist joining by speaker phone.
“This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior and long-serving campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues the day of the meeting. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help.”
Wu was defiant and left the meeting, saying he was going to a movie, sources told The Oregonian.
That’s the Chinese symbol for “denial” and this could be the perfect definition for it: your entire staff gathers together with your psychiatrist on speaker phone, demanding you enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment and you say, “Screw you guys, I’m going to a movie.”
That is awesome. Next time I face an intervention, that is exactly the line I’m going to use.
I hope he does get the help he needs. Then again, maybe it really IS everyone else who’s crazy.
*** UPDATE ***
Looks like Representative Wu is going in for treatment. Good to hear it. It may have been only after half his staff quit, but still a good thing to hear he’s getting some help.