Why Is This Congressman Wearing a Fuzzy Tiger Costume?

Above is a picture of Democratic Oregon representative David Wu wearing a fuzzy tiger costume uncovered by the Portland alt-weekly Wilamette Week. Wu sent the picture to some staffers from his official Blackberry early on a Saturday morning last October, which raises some questions.

In this picture is Wu:

  • A. Drunk?
  • B. Mentally disturbed?
  • C. Playing around innocently with his kids before Halloween?
  • It's unclear! The picture was included in a series of bizarre emails Wu sent at around 1:30am on Saturday, October 30th to female staffers—all written under his kids' names. One was titled "Wasted" and read:

    My Dad said you said he was wasted Wednesday night after just three sips of wine. It's just that he hasn't had a drink since July 1. Cut him some slack, man. What he does when he's wasted is send emails, not harass people he works with. He works SO hard for you …

    Staffers told Willamette Week they think Wu actually wrote the emails himself and just pretended they were written by his kids. Weird. This supports either option A or B.

    According to Willamette Week, Wu, who's currently serving his seventh term, has been acting strangely for a while now. In fact his staff became so worried about his mental health last year before he was reelected that they staged a series of "interventions" to urge him to seek psychiatric help. (In 2007, Wu gave a very crazy-seeming speech about Klingons on the house floor.) And since Wu was reelected basically his entire political team has quit mysteriously. This supports option B.

    But Wu's spokesman said that the picture showed Wu simply "joshing around with his kids the day before Halloween." Amazing how this one image could either depict something incredibly disturbing or something incredibly sweet. In any case, it's not the sort of story Oregonians wanted to learn about after they elected Wu to run the country. He does look cute, though!

    [Willamette Week]