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Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in At TMV, Health, Media, Politics, Society | 8 comments

Speculation on Gabrielle Giffords’ Political Motivation and Career

While one reader here at TMV reflected that Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s last night’s courageous and emotional appearance on the House floor to vote on the debt limit bill may have been “ political theatre and showmanship, maybe even a little arm-twisting to drum up support for the bill,” others are speculating that it may be the start of her run for re-election in 2012.

According to the Washington Post, Giffords spokeswoman C.J. Karamargin rejected speculation that Giffords’ support for Monday’s debt deal was the launch of a 2012 campaign: “’Congresswoman Giffords is focused on her recovery,’” she said. “’No decision has been made about 2012.’”

The Post also reports that, according to the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), no decision on Gabrielle Gifford’s political future has been made.

Wasserman Schultz, on CBS’s Early Show this morning, “We are confident that she is going to come back to help us full time,” acknowledging, however, that Giffords “still has a long way to go in her recovery.”

More from the Post:

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Wasserman Schultz added that Democrats were helping Giffords prepare for 2012: “We’re certainly getting her ready to make sure she can run for re-election at the point that they’re ready to decide on that.”

“As you’ve seen, she’s got the heart of a lion, made remarkable progress,” Wasserman Schultz added. “But her supporters in Arizona and across the country, her colleagues, are making sure that she doesn’t have to start from scratch when she makes that decision.”


Aides to Giffords have tried to tamp down speculation about their boss’ political future in recent months. Pia Carusone, the congresswoman’s chief of staff, told the Arizona Republic in June that Giffords struggles to form longer words and was nowhere close to returning to work.

There has also been speculation that Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, would run for the seat. Kelly has said that he is not interested.

It was gratifying to see the reader quoted earlier conclude the remarks with these words: “… but all that is OK with me as it was great to see her back. Many kudos to Rep. Giffords.”

It is great to see our humaneness trump, or at least temper, our political disagreements.

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  • Allen

    Well she comes from a large, out in the middle of no-where district that favors gun rights. Which she supports even though the NRA lobby only grades her a D+. One wonders what you have to do get favor from the NRA, and, some would say switch parties.

    I suspect her district will have to hear her speak on television in order to determine if she is still capable after her horrific ordeal. I cannot imagine anything else getting in her way. Maybe her stand on illegal aliens?

  • It’s a story of overcoming incredible odds. It should be beyond politics.

  • Allen


    Beyond politics? These people will gut their own mother for a shot at a seat on capital hill. There “ain’t no” beyond politics when it comes to politics in this country. That stuff died with Tip O’Neil. As much as I like her and sympathize with her and wish the very best for her, she holds a seat in Congress. Her district will be inundated with those seeking to take it away from her if she appears weak in anyway. That’s just the way it is in this damn country.

  • Yes Allen, her seat will be contested. Win or lose, however, she deserves admiration (and probably a good movie).

  • DLS

    I’m not sure about the movie, Prof, but admiration (and thankfulness), certainly.

    * * *

    For those who wanted to know more about the political: You have to ask that if it was an appeal to emotion, it was to try to influence the debt ceiling-budget agreement vote, meaning to induce more to vote in favor of it. But we have to ask: to induce Democrats or Republicans? Didn’t twice as many Dems vote No as did the GOP?

  • PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

    If she runs for re-election the GOP may as well concede today.

  • Allen

    OF COURSE I admire her ya bunch of buckaroos!

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    A pretty good report on Gabrielle Giffords physical and mental condition and recovery progress from observations of her on the House floor here:

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