Our opinion

Two things are certain when it comes to U.S. Congressman David Wu: First, it isn't acceptable for Wu to avoid meeting with his electorate in Oregon's 1st Congressional District and instead be satisfied to explain his troubles to television and radio news reporters.

And, second, the almost daily revelations about Wu's behavior are undermining public confidence in his ability to serve Oregon and the nation.

Wu must make a decision. He should seek an immediate leave of absence from Congress to deal with his medical and mental health issues, or he should resign from office.

We believe voters feel genuine sadness about Wu and want him to make his own health and personal well-being a priority. But in the meantime, those voters also expect Wu or any member of Congress to work undistracted and unencumbered for the good of the state and the nation. Wu continues to claim he is fully capable of doing his job. State Democratic Party leaders concur.

We don't.

Wu's difficulties are not just about his longtime eccentricities, or his more recent embarrassing outbursts, revelations or actions. This is about the public's trust. Wu needs to focus on himself and his family. And Oregon needs competent representation from a member of Congress.

If House rules don't allow Wu to take a leave of absence, he should immediately resign and let a better-suited person serve Oregon and the nation at this critical time.

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