Gabrielle Giffords' Triumphant Surprise Return: Voted on Debt Deal, May Run in 2012
Remarkable and inspiring: a mere eight months after the assassination attempt of popular Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), she returned to the House in Washington last night to vote on the debt deal. Her appearance was a surprise, and as she arrived with a mere two minutes left on the voting clock—as the debt deal looking like it might not be approved—the entire House erupted in applause, and their standing ovation lasted through the remainder of the vote. The New York Times report will give you goosebumps:
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, hailed the return of Ms. Giffords, saying: “There isn’t a name that stirs more love, more admiration, more respect, more wishing for our daughters to be like her than the name of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Thank you, Gabby.”
The dramatic arrival capped a day of anticipation on Capitol Hill. She was accompanied by her husband, the astronaut Mark E. Kelly. She left the chamber, walking slowly, but under her own power. Her Twitter account, which has featured dispatches from her staff since she was shot in the head at a Tucson political event in January, finally featured a message from its owner:
The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight.
She was, apparently, aware the deal might not have enough votes to pass, so at the last minute, after calling her friend Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-FL) to find out the score, she flew in to register her aye. How's that for a sense of public duty? She left her treatment facility to vote. And, said Wasserman Schulz, after the bitter, protracted debt fight, her presence was a welcome moment of relief. "Everyone's heart," she said, "just melted." No kidding! Her appearance had a lot of people wondering if she'll be running for reelection in 2012. We're gonna go out on a limb and say barring some freakish twist of events, if she chooses to do so she's got a great chance at winning.
Here's a video of her arrival, via Newsweek.