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Gabby Giffords, who is still recovering, is being talked about as a potential Senate candidate. Balko is uneasy:

I of course wish Giffords the best. And if, after making a full recovery, she then wants to run for higher office, more power to her. And for all I know, she may make a darned fine senator.

But that isn’t what’s going on here. Giffords has become an immensely more attractive Senate candidate because she got shot in the head. And, frankly, because she’s still recovering. These whispers actually started weeks ago, before it was even clear that she’d be able to talk again. Try to think of another profession where something like that would immediately make you more qualified for a promotion, before your colleagues even knew what sort of recovery was even possible.

(Photo: An autographed portrait of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a makeshift memorial outside the hospital in Tucson, Arizona where she is in critical condition on January 10, 2011. By Shaun Tandon/AFP/Getty Images)