When Kari and I took the opportunity to sit down with Congressman David Wu for our interview, I expected to walk away with questions in my mind about whether or not I would vote for him again. Expecting only 10 minutes for our chat, I fully believed that we might have a chance for one, maybe two questions. To his credit, the Congressman sat down with us for just over an hour.
But even with that hour, I wish I could say that the niggling questions about Congressman Wu floating around in my head were gone.
My main concern is what appears to be a lack of good judgment. After having what he describes as a bad reaction to a mix of prescription medications, Wu popped pills of a type unknown to him from a supporter at a campaign event. He says it was for pain--and I have no doubt that he's telling the truth there. Wu described the taking of the pills as "really stupid", and he's right, it was. But it wasn't a one time thing because he kept asking for more, which he neglected to mention in our interview. It's not like there wasn't time to tell us the whole thing. This sort of half-telling of the story demonstrates to me that his judgment is still in question.
I also still find myself troubled at the exodus of staff. I don't think the Congressman is helping his case when he talks about how most of them went on to good jobs in other places. How is Julie Tippens taking a job with a Hawaii Congresswoman better because of the beautiful setting of Hawaii.... if she's probably spending the majority of her time in DC? I find it hard to believe that Tippens left just so she could take nice walks on the beach. Adding to that is the (paraphrasing) "I have to be a better boss" statements. If the staff left for "better" jobs, and some left without having another job, does that mean he was such a horrible boss that pretty much anything was better than staying there? I can't reconcile this.
Finally,there's the email from Lisa Grove. Grove had been a long time consultant for Congressman Wu. I find it credible that Grove would know a great deal about the workings of the Congressman's campaigns and events. Grove hasn't denied writing the email and whether or not someone leaked it is irrelevant, from my point of view. I don't find it credible that Wu doesn't know what Grove was talking about in her email about the need for staff to be "protected", especially within the context of Wu admitting that some of his behavior hasn't been good.
I suspect that for some of our readers, this won't be the popular view. Some of you are ardent supporters of David Wu, for your own reasons. I have a feeling I'm about to get an earful. And that's fine. But for me, too much just doesn't add up.