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Scary Congressman Urged to Seek Psych Help Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

Congressman Urged to Seek Psych Help

The stresses of the campaign trail can drive a candidate to act strangely, but senior staffers of U.S. Rep. David Wu (D-OR) say that in the days before the November election their boss’ behavior was so alarming they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment. The first warning sign came when Wu gave a belligerent and rambling 19-minute monologue to a friendly crowd of Washington County Democrats on Oct. 27. The next day, staffers tried to get Wu to get in their car, and Wu took off on foot. The day after that, Wu tried to get U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to talk to his children on his cell phone during a fundraiser. After the staff received strange emails, including a photograph of him in a tiger Halloween costume, signed by Wu’s children but sent from Wu’s personal email and BlackBerry, they started looking for hospital beds. By the time the election rolled around, the mood on the campaign says one source, "was that the only thing worse than losing the campaign would be winning it." But he did win, and since the election he has had at least six staffers step down.

February 19, 2011 2:56 AM