Here's another interesting bit of trivia about Sen. Kyl's recently announced retirement: Rep. Gabby Giffords had been considering running for Kyl's Senate seat before she was shot. Giffords told staffers that she would only run if Kyl retired, which she didn't expect to happen. But Kyl made his big announcement Thursday morning. Could Giffords recover fast enough for the campaign--and would she even want to?
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza reports that people close to Giffords think a Senate bid is still a possibility, given how well she's doing in rehabilitation. If she does run, she would "be a formidable candidate not solely due to her hero status in the state--and the nation--but also because of her previously demonstrated fundraising capacity and skills on the stump," Cillizza writes. On the other hand, that means no other Democrat can get into the race until Giffords decides what she's going to do.
Giffords was shot only last month. Still, "she ought to have the right of first refusal," an Arizona Democrat told Talking Points Memo's Eric Kleefeld.
Wonkette's Jack Stuef finds this talk disgustingly cynical. Many doubt Giffords, who, let's not forget, was shot at close range through the head, will be ready to run a Senate campaign. "Yeah!" Stuef writes, "let's get her in the race before she can speak and tell us whether she wants to run or not! People love shooting victims. Both parties know that!"