This Would Not Work
If Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) recovers dramatically from her gunshot wounds, she would be a formidable candidate to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyl. Giffords would have been a contender for the Democratic nomination even without the shooting, but the groundswell of sympathy would make her viable to win.
I hope her recovery is as miraculous as her surviving the shooting.
But her supporters and campaign will have to make the case for her apart from the shooting. I don’t think sympathy alone would be enough, which is why this strategy would not work, in my estimation:
“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.”
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At some point, someone should say, "Hey, you've recovered from a gunshot to the head. Retire; enjoy life"?
And at the risk of sounding heartless, SHOULDN'T people be reluctant to elect someone who suffered a massive head wound? Or are we admitting that the actual representative or Senator is immaterial, that the staff does all the real work?
I hope she recovers fully, but seriously, it takes a long, long time. It sickens me that Democrats want to capitalize this way, when obviously focusing on recovery should be Gifford's concern.
Democrats are more interested in winning a political battle as opposed to helping someone recover from a tragedy. Shame on them.
The Democrats have tried this before when their candidate died. Missouri in 2000, which they won, and Minnesota in 2002, which they lost.
I cant see it working this time either.
We had a Dem state senator in CA who was acting strangely for two years before she finally had a public meltdown and the secret was out. Seems everyone in her party knew about her problem, but, hey, she was one of them!
I dunno…. most democrats in Congress act like they've all been head-shot to begin with.
But it's not too early to start a counter-campaign pointing out what you've pointed out: That her story, while sad, in no way makes her a superior senate candidate.
Even with a head-wound, she's probably more astute than Al Franken or Ron Wyden.
Sounds like the typical GOP establishment nominee. She's "electable" and she's not a conservative. Extra points because she is a true Democrat as opposed to the typical cross-dressing Democrat the GOP establishment is so enamored with.
The narrative works really well until her opponent is an Iraq or Afghanistan war veteran/hero who may have been seriously (and visibly) injured and who's possibly a business owner or a border patrol agent….
It also only works as a narrative if she's going to run as a gun control candidate in a state with a high percentage of conceal carry permits and rural farmers and ranchers….
In other words, you can run on sympathy, but you'd better hope the other candidate doesn't have a better narrative.