Gabrielle Giffords to Attend Husband's Shuttle Launch -- and Now People Think She's Running for Senate

Senator Gabrielle Giffords? Democrats hope so.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was cleared over the weekend to leave rehab in Texas and fly to Florida to watch her astronaut husband Mark Kelly's shuttle launch less than four months after getting shot "through the brain" during the January 8 Tucson shooting rampage.

Coincidentally, Arizona has a Senate seat opening up with the retirement of Senator Jon Kyl (assuming his retirement announcement was "intended to be a factual statement," that is).

Giffords has made remarkable progress, by all accounts, but can she really mount a legitimate Senate campaign? Democrats sure hope so.

The L.A. Times published an article on its website this morning with the headline "Giffords Return to Public Arena to Spark New Talk About Her Political Future." It makes the case that because Giffords was cleared to watch the launch, Democrats consider her the heir-apparent to Kyl's seat.

Republican Congressman Jeff Flake has announced his candidacy for the Senate seat, and there have been rumblings of other Republicans throwing their hats in the ring, but no Democrats have stepped up to the plate and announced their candidacy.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Giffords' campaign has $556,013 in cash on hand, $358,247 of which was raised between January 1, and March 31 -- as Giffords was recovering from her injuries. 

Candidacy for the seat, it seems, is being left open by Democrats with the hopes that Giffords will be able to run.

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Washington U.S. Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Democrats hope to take the seat and that Giffords is the ideal candidate.

"None of us can predict what Congresswoman Giffords will do, and we are giving her and her family all due respect to recover from a very serious trauma and that's where we should be," Murray said. "But what happened to Gabby Giffords changed the political landscape of Arizona. And I know that we will have a Democratic candidate there."

A Giffords Senate campaign would be a remarkable conclusion to a tragic event, but part of her skull hasn't been replaced after the shooting, and she reportedly gets frustrated by long sentences. 

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There is no way right now she will run for senate this time around, I guarantee. Perhaps the next time around but her condition will not improve by the time serious campaigning begins. Furthermore she barely won her strongly democratic district she will have probably not win a very Republican state.  She will not get any kind of sympathy vote. I hope she recovers fully. Thats the only thing they should be worred about. 


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The Klute
The Klute

I think it's more likely Mark Kelly will run for Congress. After all, this is it for the shuttle program, the next American manned missions won't be for awhile - while he could consult for NASA or work in Titusville to help turn out the lights at Cape Kennedy...

Why not run for Congress and influence the American space program from there? I think he'd have enough goodwill carrying over from how he's handled the assassination attempt on Gabby, and he could help drive a stake through the heart of Jesse Kelly's political career (and seriously, whatever traveling sideshow Jesse Kely escaped from really ought to come collect him before he kills anymore rabbits*).

* - Satire. Protected by the 1st Amendment. Fuck off, teabaggers.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

This is pretty cool. I still remember listening to radio reports the day she was shot and how it was reported early on in the afternoon that she had died. Now, she is preparing to watch her husband fly into space on a mission. Life goes on...

When she is seen in public for the first time I think many people are going to have to deal with the reality of what she has been going through. I am so glad she has been protected up to this point and I hope she is being prepared for what to expect....

Let us not forget all of the victims of Loughner.... and others of his ilk.

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