John Fetterman Speaks Warmly of Family After Depression Treatment

  • When Sen. John Fetterman was asked about his political future, he instead pivoted to his eldest son.
  • Fetterman checked into the hospital for his depression treatment on his eldest son’s birthday.
  • The senator spoke emotionally about wanting to celebrate his son’s birthday now that he’s back at home.

When Sen. John Fetterman opened up about his treatment for clinical depression in an interview that aired Sunday, he grew emotional when speaking about his family — noting that he checked into the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on the same day as his 14-year-old son’s birthday.

“It makes me sad,” the Pennsylvania Democrat said during an interview with CBS “Sunday Morning” host Jane Pauley conducted two days before he left the hospital.

“You know, the day that I go in was my son’s birthday and I hope that for the rest of his life, his birthday, it be joyous and you don’t have to remember that your father was admitted.”

Fetterman said that he was saddened that he needed to go into inpatient treatment that day in February.

Pauley then suggested that the day could be a “renewal” for both Fetterman and his son to celebrate.

“That’s a good way to look at it,” Fetterman said. “I’m looking forward to doing that.” 

Fetterman, a former mayor of Braddock, Pa. and the state’s former lieutenant governor, was then asked if he had any aspirations beyond the Senate — with Pauley noting that the 53-year-old Fetterman was considered “a young man” in the political world.

He instead spoke of his family, specifically his eldest son.

“You know, my aspiration is to take my son to the restaurant that we were supposed to go during his birthday but couldn’t because I had checked myself in for depression,” he continued to say, “and being the kind of dad, the kind of husband, and the kind of senator that Pennsylvania deserves.”

Last year’s Pennsylvania Senate election was seen as one of most competitive races in the country. In 2016, then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump narrowly won the state over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on his way to winning the White House, and in 2020, now-President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the state by a one-point margin.

But in the end, Fetterman won the race 51%-46%, picking up a key seat for Democrats and giving the party a 51-49 majority in the upper chamber.

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