TLP: Being Shot Was Bad Enough
She needs these people about as much as she needs another hole in the head.
Representative Gabrielle Giffords is still in the hospital, but some of her most ardent backers are so enamored of the idea of her running for the Senate that they describe the inevitable campaign commercials: the deep-voiced narrator recounting what happened to her, the images of her wounded, then recovering and speaking into the camera alongside her astronaut husband to call on Arizonans to unite.Looks more like a sign that those around her want to keep their own political options open, along with their jobs and paychecks. What part of "shot in the head" did these people miss? I mean, it's right there in the second graf of a New York Times article, for fuck's sake. Plus the dead people. Six of them.
These supporters say they do not want to get too far ahead of themselves, and make clear that Ms. Giffords, who was shot in the head, is still relearning basic tasks and might emerge from the hospital with neither the same political abilities nor aspirations that she had before. And publicly, her closest aides say the only thing they care about is her health.
“Our focus is on her recovery and what comes after that comes after that,” said Pia Carusone, Ms. Giffords’s chief of staff.
Despite such protestations, several of Ms. Giffords’s longtime aides are whispering behind the scenes that she just might recover in time to run for the seat that Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican, is vacating next year.
While it might be wishful thinking, Ms. Giffords’s noncampaign is already having a major effect on Arizona politics; other prospective Democratic candidates say they feel compelled not to jump in unless she bows out, allowing Republicans to get a head start organizing their campaigns.
“I’m in but only if she’s not,” said one prospective Democratic candidate, who spoke of his deliberations but insisted that he not be named given the fluid nature of the race. “A Democrat running against her would be doomed.”
Ever so quietly, Ms. Giffords’s political allies are laying the groundwork just in case. Friends and allies held a fund-raiser for her on March 15 in Washington — trying to supplement her Congressional campaign war chest, which totaled about $285,000 at year’s end and could be tapped for a Senate bid. Her former campaign manager, Rodd McLeod, has been brought on staff, to fill in for an aide who is also recovering from the Jan. 8 shooting that left 6 people dead and 13 injured.
While these efforts might be normal for a member of Congress in a competitive district like hers, other Democrats see them as signs that those around her want to keep her political options open.
I'm sure it's part of the rehab program in a case like this to give the patient goals to work toward, and that's admirable. But maybe building on things like walking and speaking and breathing without a tube is a better focus than a statewide political campaign. And how about seeing how her brain is doing and reassembling her head — isn't a good-sized section of her skull still in storage? — before trying to find her a new job?
Just a thought.