The Strange Saga of David Wu


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The woman declined to press charges, and Wu was never formally arrested. But apparently the decision by the Oregonian to publish the story, which they claimed “figured in the unexpected resignation of his campaign manager” during his first run for Congress in 1998, forced Wu’s hand. Citing “inexcusable behavior on my part,” Wu released in a statement on the matter. “As a 21-year-old, I hurt someone I cared very much about. I take full responsibility for my actions and I am very sorry,” he said. “This single event forever changed my life and the person that I have become.” Despite the admission, Wu was re-elected in 2004 by voters who said they disliked his opponent’s attempt to use the incident against him.

Yet the person David Wu became was hardly exemplary. Three days before the November 2010 election, Wu’s senior staffers became so concerned with the congressman’s erratic behavior, they demanded that he be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment. Words such “loud and angry” and “kooky” were used to describe his behavior in private and, of more concern to the staff, in front of potential voters. ”This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues after four days of weird behavior by the congressman. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else,” she added.

The tipping point apparently occurred on Oct. 30th when a photograph of Wu dressed in a bright orange tiger suit with a wide grin on his face was sent to a female staffer at 1 am from his congressional email account. Included was a message intended to make it seem like his daughter sent it. “You’re the best, but my Dad made me say that, even though you threatened to shut down his campaign,” it read. One half-hour later it was followed by an equally strange email ostensibly from Wu’s son claiming that “what he does when he’s wasted is send emails, not harass people he works with.” After his re-election campaign was over, six staffers resigned.

In an interview on Good Morning America last February, Wu admitted sending the photo and the emails. “Last October was not a good month, it was very stressful. I did some things, I said some things which I sincerely regret now. And as a result of those things I saw fit to consult professional help, I got the help I needed then. I am continuing to consult medical help as I need it and I’m in a good place now,” he told George Stephanopoulos.

The Oregonian reported that Wu’s strange behavior can be traced back as far as 2003 when he appeared to “go catatonic before a crucial vote on Medicare.” The paper further noted that his behavior ranged from normal to disturbed over a period of years, with each episode growing “increasingly erratic.” Wu, who was hospitalized on election day 2008, reportedly as the result of an adverse reaction to a prescription drug taken for “anxiety and stress,” claimed last year’s odd behavior was the “culmination of a period of mental health challenges that began in 2008 as marital issues led toward his separation from his wife.” He further claimed last year’s outbursts were the result of “stress from a tough campaign, a dissolving marriage and taking care of his children, ages 11 and 13.” Emails from his staff prior to the 2010 election indicate Wu may have had a drinking problem as well.

And now it’s over. “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to be a United States Congressman. Rare is the nation in which an immigrant child can become a national political figure. I thank God and my parents for the privilege of being an American,” said Wu in a statement released by his office. Thus ends the career of the first Chinese American to serve in the House of Representatives. For Democrats recently buffeted by Anthony Weiner’s equally bizarre behavior, it is no doubt a blessed relief.

In today’s politically charged atmosphere, there is no doubt that some will attempt to extrapolate a bigger meaning from this. That is unfortunate. By all reasonable accounts, Mr. Wu’s demons are not particular to one political party or the other. Mental illness is an equal opportunity affliction. If the current accusations rise to the level of criminality, by all means prosecute him. As for bizarre behavior, Mr. Wu is hardly alone. Voters who would re-elect a man after an admitted sexual assault have demonstrated some rather odd priorities of their own.

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  • jacob

    If CHARLES RANGEL was let off with a slap on the wrist, most assuredly because
    he has more then one Congressman in both sides of the rainbow by the short hair,
    why couldn't Representative WU stay "ad infinitum" in Congress…????

    Seems however, the stink was so overwhelming, not even NANCY PELOSI could
    hold a hankerchief to her nose

  • derekcrane

    How could Wu be re-elected considering his serious character flaws? The same way that Barney Frank and other corrupt Democrats will never lose — they promise their equally corrupt constituents more of other people's money and deliver on their promises.

  • sononthe_beach

    I live in Wu's congressional district. It is heavily democrat and urban, although the district does include a large but less populated rural area. Wu has done very little during his career except get re-elected. In 2010, republicans ran a credible candidate against Wu, but to no avail. Dems dominate the elections in Oregon's Portland metro area, and take the entire state with them. They tend to not care who the republican candidate is, voting a straight partisan ticket. With Wu, the dems got what they deserve, a just reward for blind faith;

  • GatorBob

    For Wu to be re-elected after his extremely serious Rape is of no surprise to me. Since the Country is becoming more and more Liberal/Socialist, less and less moral, and they are rapidly ridding the Country of GOD, there is more and more acceptance of vile creatures
    like Wu being elected.
    Like derekcrane says above….they only care about the Government handouts their power hungry Socialist/Democrat Candidates promise them.

  • mrbean

    Mr Wu say; : "You got boyfriend honey? Me luff you long time. Me numba 1 lover. Me so horny, You like?"

    • Ghostwriter

      I say your post is tasteless!

  • Supreme_Galooty

    The worst of it is that he will be replaced by another left-wing, freedom-hating union thug who actually WILL represent the people of his district by "getting things done." Wu's leaving is NOT an improvement.

  • Brujo Blanco

    I have had a lot of experience dealing with sexual predators. They generally have multiple victims. Predators in high places tend to get breaks. Resign in lieu of arrest and/or investigation and prosecution. Wu appears to be a man with a problem that should be addressed withinvestigation and if appropriate prosecution. If he is a predator he will re-offend.

  • Mark S- Jupiter, FL

    What I find very telling is the ongoing reaction of his advisors, staffers and confidantes. Apparently, the left takes "the personal is political" very, very seriously.

    Notice in the 2010 campaign, when Lisa Grove, the senior campaign pollster wrote, ”This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” in an e-mail to colleagues after four days of weird behavior by the congressman. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else,” she added. But something else did matter- his reelection and their place in the political world. They stuck with it until he was safely reelected and foisted on the American people. Only then did the six oh-so-conscientious staffers resign.

    The whole system, the Ruling Class, not just Dems, conspired to keep this guy in place. There is something very wrong in our political system that needs a good purging. It truly is us, the citizenry, against them, the Ruling Class.

  • StephenD

    I recall back in 1983 (the late) Gerry Studs of Massachusetts (go figure) was "censured" by the House of Representatives for essentially raping a 17 year old page. (I say rape because it was a 17 year old BOY and could not have been considered "consensual adults").
    Can you imagine being the boys parent? You send him off to serve a leader in what could have been the greatest experience of his life and you find out your son was bent over a desk by this guy.
    I recall him at a press conference clasping his hands and stating that "Finally, I am a whole man now." As if, now that he's been found out, he no longer has to reign in his abhorrent behavior.
    He was re-elected….

    • johnnywoods

      American voters do seem to love their politicians no matter how perverted they are. We get the government we deserve.

  • Texasron

    Wu is typical of the guys who live in Nancy Pelosi's swamp. Remember, she said, years ago, that she was going to drain the swamp. But Wu is a good Democrat so he can stay until after he votes her way on any budget bill. He will join the other low-lifes in her swamp.

  • Ghostwriter

    Congressman Wu is a creepy guy who doesn't deserve to be in Congress. He did the right thing by resigning.

  • garretso

    He's my congressman. I've been robbed!

  • Geddy

    Pelosi is so much like a mother taking care of her children. Problem is all of her children are abortions Wu was one of her "oops" that dropped on the floor before making it to the dumpster.

  • Nora bee

    Don't expect Oregonians to elect anyone any differnt from the present nut cases they have already elected. I lived in Portland for three years and learned that people there don't even know the names fo their next door neighbors, never take responsibility if they can put the burnen on someone else, and look to the government to solve all their problems. Most of those people are paranoid nut cases. So what can you expect?

  • Deendid

    The worst of it is that he will be replaced by another left-wing, freedom-hating union thug who actually WILL represent the people of his district by "getting things done." Wu's leaving is NOT an improvement.Affiliate Marketing