CHARLOTTE, N.C.--The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said Monday he's not certain whether his ailing son will stand for re-election.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Il.) is still being treated at the Mayo Clinic for bi-polar disorder. The congressman and his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) are skipping this week's Democratic National Convention.
Sandi Jackson has insisted that her husband--who faces two nominal opponents-- has every intention of running for re-election. She has said she's holding down the fort until he is physically able to return to the campaign trail.
But, Rev. Jackson was not at all certain about that.
Asked point-blank whether his son would be a candidate for re-election, the elder Jackson said, "I don't know. His health is his priority and any decision on that will be made with his doctors."
Pressed on when that decision would be made, the Rev. Jackson said, "The first issue is his health. He and his doctors will determine that at the appropriate time. That's all I have to say."
If his son decides to retire from politics, the Rev. Jackson was asked how he feels about his daughter-in-law replacing her husband. He wouldn't touch the subject with a ten-foot pole.
"Oh, I can't comment on anything like that. That's inappropriate," he said, cutting off the conversation.
The Rev. Jackson did say that his son loves conventions and misses the action in Charlotte.
"Given the give and take of this political process--he enjoys this. This is his life. But, his focus must be on his health," the elder Jackson said.
"We've urged him to make his health and recovery a priority--and he's doing that."