Opinion Brief

Oregon Democrat David Wu's 'bizarre' tiger-suit photo

A picture of the congressman in a children's costume has raised questions about his psychological well-being

The image: In the run-up to November's election, staff members working for Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) expressed growing concern that their boss was mentally unstable, the Portland Oregonian reported last week. Wu's worrisome antics, which included "loud and angry behavior," saying "kooky things to staffers," and lambasting his opponent as being "stingy with tips," led Wu's staff to keep him away from the public for three days before the election, and to make inquiries at nearby psychiatric clinics. Wu also sent a series of strange middle-of-the-night e-mails, including a "bizarre" one in which the congressman posed in a tiger suit (see below). After Wu won a seventh term in the House, six staffers, including his chief of staff and campaign pollster, resigned.
The reaction: 
Wu "has a right to medical privacy when it comes to his mental health," says Frank James at NPR. And yet, "voters have rights, too, including the right to know about health conditions that could interfere with an elected official's ability to serve." In his first interview since these revelations, Wu told ABC's Good Morning America today that "last October was not a good month. It was very stressful. I did some things [and] said some things which I sincerely regret now." Wu said he's continuing to receive medical help, and "I’m in a good place now." See one of the photos that worried Wu's staff (image courtesy Willamette Week):

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