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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Giffords healthier; readiness for Congress still questionable

    Despite Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ exemplary condition at the vigil, it’s still questionable if she should return to office.

    Weeping mourners united to commemorate the anniversary of the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting. The Sunday night vigil began as Giffords led the crowd with the Pledge of the Allegiance.

    Since Giffords was shot in the head last January, she had to hold her stiff right arm with her left hand during the pledge. It was evident to the crowd she was still enduring the pain from her injuries.

    Some of the crowd expected Giffords to attend the anniversary but few thought she would be as strong or as central a role as she was. Giffords was escorted “unsteadily to the side of the stage by Ron Barber, her chief of staff who was also shot in the attack,” reported The New York Times, but she looked very well put together and impressed many with how healthy she appeared.

    The shooting that left 13 wounded and six dead had many grievers and many still dealing with the shock of what happened only a year ago. The city is still trying to give the tragedy more meaning, rather than just remembering the disturbing date. Giffords could only remember a little of what had happened to her; so what makes her supporters think she can return to the nation’s capital so soon?

    If she enters and wins the re-election in November, it will be quite overwhelming for her. Her return to the public in just a year was remarkable but that’s just a start to getting back to her former self. She needs to take baby steps, not leaps.

    Giffords appeared to be stronger than expected in front of the public eye but still has trouble communicating — a key duty for a congresswoman. She needs to prove to her constituents that she is still capable of conveying their interests.

    Many would welcome her return, but there are critics who note that as she is not yet fully recovered, she should step aside to let other hopeful candidates take their chances while she continues to heal. Only time will tell if she is ever ready to return to the nation’s capital.

    — Cheryl Gamachi is a pre-journalism freshman. She can be reached at

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