As Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to undergo rehabilitation in Houston and to improve every day, the assumptions, rumors and predictions about her political future continue to swirl.
Such speculation includes “Democrats in Arizona and Washington [are] looking to her as a potential candidate to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jon Kyl.“
According to Politico, Arizona and Washington strategists view Giffords as “a compelling candidate for higher office.”
Politico adds that there’s been no official statement from Giffords or her advisers about next year’s campaign and that there is a lot of sensitivity to Giffords’s delicate condition—as there should be.
While there are many potential candidates for the Senate seat on the Republican side, “only Giffords and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano…might be able to claim the [Democratic] Senate nomination unchallenged.”
Giffords has shown interest in a run for the Senate even before the Tucson tragedy. While she has always been an extremely popular and effective legislator and politician, with the ability to get Republican votes, her recent, painfully gained national status and deep public affection and goodwill towards her would make Giffords, in my opinion, a formidable candidate.
However, also in my humble opinion, it is too early to speculate as to her political future and way too early to stop praying for her and wishing her a speedy and full recovery.
And while I do not concur with right-wing sources who claim that Democrats are “exploiting her assassination attempt,” I would encourage Democrats—all Americans—to focus on Giffords’ health and full recovery, period.
And if this brief post—in the view of some—has detracted from such focus, I sincerely apologize. It will be the last one on this subject until Congresswoman Giffords herself speaks on this matter.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.