While Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been focused on her recovery, many have been inappropriately concerned with whether or not she'll be well enough to run in 2012. Now the speculation has shifted to her husband Mark Kelly, which still premature, but somewhat less gauche.
Earlier this week, Giffords and Kelly announced they'll be writing a memoir following the news that she's been released from the hospital and he's retiring. Writing a book is often one of the first signs that someone's planning to run for office (see: Michele Bachmann). However, just about everyone's releasing memoirs these days, and Giffords and Kelly certainly have more worthwhile insights to share than two Alaskan teens who made a baby and took their teenage bickering to the national stage.
Kelly added fuel to the debate over his potential candidacy when he closed a Facebook post announcing his retirement from NASA with the line, "After some time off, I will look at new opportunities and am hopeful that one day I will again serve our country." Of course, earlier in the note he wrote that he was retiring to spend time with his family and be by Giffords side during her "mission of recovery."
Arizona Senator Jon Kyl's seat will be open in 2012, and a Gulf War veteran turned astronaut would certainly make an attractive candidate even if he wasn't married to a beloved Representative injured on the job. The Washington Post reports that while Kelly and Giffords are staying at his home in Texas, her spokesman says Tucson, "is the congresswoman's home and it will remain her home." If the couple move back to Tucson it could be a sign that he's trying to establish residency in Arizona — or just that Giffords wants to be in her hometown. While other people may already be plotting out Kelly's political career, we're guessing that at this point his main concern is helping his wife get well.