Don’t laugh. There are some people who say that he could be in a few years.
Of course, by now, I’m sure you’ve heard all about the sad saga of Jesse Jackson Jr. (the eldest son of Jesse Jackson) who signed off on a plea deal and pleaded guilty in federal court last week, to charges that he misappropriated over $750,000 in campaign funds for him and his wife Sandi's own personal use (She also pleaded guilty last week to tax fraud).
Among the countless items Jesse Jr. bought were a $43,000 gold Rolex watch for his mistress (or "jump off" if you prefer – and in case you're were wondering, yes, she's white. Wanna bet Sandi doesn't have a gold Rolex watch?), a guitar once owned by Eddie Van Halen, his and hers matching cashmere fur capes, and over $20,000 in Michael Jackson memorabilia including MJ’s fedora (I have this ongoing image of Jesse Jr. in front of a mirror wearing MJ’s clothes trying to moonwalk). However Michael Jackson experts have gone on record that many of the MJ items were fake, meaning that Junior got conned.
When he’s sentenced in late June, speculation is that he’ll get 3-5 years with time off for good behavior. But once he’s out, what will he do? His career in politics is over. He can’t practice law since, though he graduated from law school, he never took the bar exam. There’s always the option of starting his own Washington D.C. political consulting firm. He has a lot of connections to get something like that rolling.
However he does also have a degree in theology, which means he could, if he wanted to, get ordained, become a minister and establish his own church (Which has been the last refuse for many a scoundrel).
But what will he do once he gets out? Some media experts are saying the he could perhaps pursue a career in the media as a TV political pundit or perhaps hosting his own issues orientated talk show or a syndicated radio show.
Think about it. He does have some factors in his favor. He’s got a famous name and national recognition. And he's smart, telegenic, has the gift of gab, knows politics inside and out and how the Washington D.C game is played (though he himself didn’t play it too well).
And then, of course, there is the “novelty” factor in his favor. People would tune in to see someone infamous for past transactions, but that novelty gimmick flames out pretty fast.
The downside is that the history of politicians mired in scandals who have gone on to become a success on TV is practically nil. Take, for example, disgraced former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.
He’s tried twice to be taken seriously as a TV pundit and anchor, and has failed miserably. First there was CNN where he bombed, and more recently has struggled on Current TV. Though just last month, he announced that he would not be moving on to Al Jazeera, which recently bought Current TV. Most likely he was told by the new owners that they weren’t interested in him anymore.
So with factors in his favor and against him, is TV the next stop on the Jesse Junior train? We’ll have to wait and see.