Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is still struggling to regain her physical and mental faculties at the Memorial Herman TIRR rehab center, but some of her supporters have started to fantasize a Giffords for U.S. Senate campaign next year.
It has been known for the past month and a half that were Giffords willing and able to run, she would currently be the favorite to win the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Kyl. However, there are two questions.
Thus far there is some doubt that Giffords will be able to resume her duties as a congresswoman any time soon, not to mention run for the Senate. It is also unknown, all things considered, whether she would want to take on the arduous task of running a statewide race in Arizona.
That has not stopped some people from dreaming, however. According to the New York Times:
“– 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.”
As that famous space ship captain, freedom fighter, and entrepreneur Mal Reynolds would say, that is downright creepifying.
A fundraiser has already taken place to augment Giffords’ campaign treasury which could be used for a Senate run.
The effort to put Giffords into the Senate seems less motivated by what would be best for Giffords and the state of Arizona than the desire of certain staffers to move into the better offices that Senate staff tend to enjoy. Using the horrible trauma Giffords suffered by being shot in the head for political advantage can be expected, but it nevertheless is noxious when one hears about it.
Mind, by this time next year, Giffords might be back to her old self and in a fine fettle for another climb on the political ladder. On the other hand, Tucson would be over a year old by that time and not quite as raw in people’s minds.
For one thing, Giffords, who barely won reelection, still has to explain her vote for Obamacare. That alone may be enough to trump the sympathy garnered by being shot in the Safeway parking lot and having to endure months of rehab and surgical procedures. All her Republican opponent would have to say is that under Obamacare millions might be denied the kind of care she received and would be condemned to circumscribed lives. Game over.
Sources: Gabrielle Giffords for United States Senate? Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, February 11, 2011
An Arizona Senate Race Waits to See if Giffords Emerges to Run, Marc Lacey, New York Times, March 30, 2011