Last month, Republican Arizona State Senator Frank Antenori made Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person List by criticizing the way, in his view, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been kept from the press, avoiding questions of her ability to resume her Congressional duties. It is believed that Antenori is lusting after Gabby’s House seat and this was his opening salvo – raising doubts about her competence.
Well, he’s about to get his wish. On November 14, ABC News will broadcast an interview Gabby and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly have granted Diane Sawyer. It is, of all things, a book tour interview. On November 15, their joint memoir will be released. The book is titled Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope.
Gabby has made a few public appearances since that horrific day in January when Jared Loughner walked up to her at a meet-and-greet at a Tucson supermarket and shot Gabby in the head before emptying his thirty-round clip, killing six and wounding 12. Gabby flew from her rehab facility in Houston, Texas, to attend her husband’s final shuttle launch, and she flew to Washington to cast her vote on raising the debt ceiling, getting a bi-partisan standing ovation from her colleagues.
Gabby’s recovery has been much better than originally predicted, but Antenori was picking nits over the very positive reports about her recovery and her continued treatment. He is trying to create the impression that the recovery reports have been lies or exaggerations, when the more accurate assessment should be, “she had a bullet pass front to back through the left side of her brain and she’s alive – that’s a miracle. She can talk – that’s a miracle. She can walk and talk- even bigger miracle.” Every step of her recovery has been a miracle because, all things considered, Gabby Giffords should have died on January 8.
In addition to the story of Gabby’s recovery, the interview will cover their romance and cross-continental marriage. Gabby worked in Washington and had a home in Tucson, going back to her district on a regular basis. Mark worked in Houston. She has been recovering at an exceptional rehabilitation facility in Houston, in part so that Mark could be close by. In June, she made a private trip back to Tucson. According to her staff, Gabby is now speaking in complete sentences, walking with a cane, and showing every indication that she has retained her mental abilities. Her skull was kept open for a couple of months after the shooting in case of brain swelling and has now been restored. Apart from her hair being it’s natural dark color, a slightly more pronounced indentation on the left side of her forehead (the skull shape demonstrates indentations on both sides) and a slight squint to her left eye, Gabby looks amazing.
It has only been nine months since the shooting. Arizona Democrats are assuming she will run for re-election and hoping that she will be sufficiently recovered to run for the Senate seat Jon Kyl is vacating by retiring. It is safe to say she has until next spring to decide what she will do, say, another six months or so, and she has indicated that her decision will be based completely on whether or not she feels she can perform her duties at the same level of energy she has exhibited in her first two terms.