The John Fetterman saga is not one to take lightly. This man has many demons in his life, yet his wife, family, and supporters selfishly pushed him on to campaign and win the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania. This man should concentrate on getting well, not going through the motions of serving the people of the Keystone State in Washington.
John Fetterman was 37 years old when he became Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, in 2006. Braddock is a run-down version of its former thriving blue-collar town in Southwest Pennsylvania. Braddock is a town of 2,100, far from the 21,000 who called it home when it was a bustling mining and manufacturing town. Fetterman was never a savvy politician, but when you listen to videos from his early days, he was unpolished but could formulate coherent thoughts. He can no longer string together a complete sentence.
Fetterman ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2016 but was successful in his quest for the Lieutenant Governor job in 2019. He held that position until the day that he took the oath as Senator in January 2023. The Associated Press investigated Fetterman’s commitment to the Lt Governor job and found that he could only account for thirty percent of his workdays in six months. His primary focus was on the legalization of marijuana and the commutation of sentences of many Pennsylvania inmates. He started his campaign for the Senate in 2021.
Fetterman suffered a near-fatal stroke on May 13, 2022, just four days before the Democrat Primary, which he won handily. He did not pull out of the general election. Fetterman limited his campaign activities and only agreed to one debate with Mehmet Oz. He got through the debate with the aid of a computer reader to help him comprehend the questions. He had the same technology installed at his spot in the Senate chambers to help him keep up with debate and comments on the floor. Fetterman’s performance was abysmal, but over one million voters had already cast their votes.
Shortly after the State of the Union address this year, Fetterman was thought to have had another stroke. He checked himself into Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be treated for depression and anxiety. Fetterman remained at Walter Reed until last Friday, when he was released. He plans to return to the Senate the week of April 17.
Fetterman’s comments upon his release are disturbing. He claims he was indifferent to life and had suffered from clinical depression for some time. “I had stopped leaving my bed,” he said. “I had stopped eating. I was dropping weight. I had stopped engaging some of the things that I love in my life.”
There are two sides to this story. On one side, we are all empathetic to his plight and wish Fetterman well in a long recovery from the mental and emotional challenges. He will be battling these while still recovering from his stroke. On the flip side, these issues were not presented to the people of Pennsylvania while they were deciding on who would fill the vacant Senate seat. Objectively, he should resign and concentrate on his health. His wife should explain why she let him endure the rigors of the campaign, knowing how he was suffering.
One thing is for sure, the people of Pennsylvania deserve better representation, but they should have seen the writing on the wall before they cast their vote. If not, they were not paying attention and got what they deserved.