The New York Daily News crows that shooting victim/Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords now has full use of the left side of her body, but speculates that she "may not be ready" for a 2012 run for the US Senate.
That the Congresswoman is progressing in her against-the-odds recovery is nothing short of miraculous and should be celebrated. She can move the left side of her body and her verbal skills are improving. However, she's still very limited in what she can do.
Reports of her running for Senate in 2012 might be overly optimistic. While Giffords can form simple sentences, she still has trouble with complex ones.
"The challenge is she knows what she wants to say, and she knows everything that's going on around her," Carusone said, but she can't always express it. "It's frustrating for her. She'll sigh out of exasperation."
An inability to form complete sentences hasn't stopped other politicians from reaching the heights of American government. In fact, between 2000 and 2008, this country was led by a man whose most memorable speeches consisted of him making up words that never needed to exist.
But even if we haven't misunderestimated Gabrielle Gifford's ability to go from single-words to Senate Campaign in 12 months, that doesn't mean she wants to run for Congress.
I'm sure we'd all like to write the ending to the Gabrielle Giffords tragedy, the same tragedy that left six innocent people dead. We'd like for it to lead to her complete triumph in the public eye, for her to rise from a hospital bed to the halls of the United States Senate, for her to change the entire world like the protagonist in a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie or a Nicholas Sparks novel (except, if her life were a Nicholas Sparks novel, at the end someone totally unexpected would die of cancer in a softly lit room). We need to consider the fact that in light of this, Giffords is an individual with her own thoughts, feelings, desires, fears. She's probably changed as a result of her tragedy; perhaps her priorities have shifted. Maybe she doesn't care to attend a political function again; if I had been shot in the head as a result of my being a political figure, the thought of changing careers might cross my mind.
It's probably time for us to stop projecting our desire for the ending of this story onto her. Her future is hers and she deserves to have the freedom to pursue the one she wants without public pressure.