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Carefully and without fanfare, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' friends and political allies are starting to talk about her political future.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) plan to host a fundraising event in Washington next month for a possible Giffords' reelection campaign in Arizona next year. Although the Democratic congresswoman almost certainly won't be in attendance, she continues to make a remarkable recovery from the gunshot wound to the head that she suffered in a shooting rampage in Tucson on Jan. 8.
On Wednesday, her chief of staff, Pia Carusone, said doctors have not yet told Giffords details of the incident that left six dead and 13 others wounded outside a Tucson supermarket. They don't think it is fair to "tell someone something so tragic" when the person may not yet have the ability to ask detailed questions in response, Carusone said in a CBS "Early Show" interview.
"She certainly knows there's been a tragic event," Carusone said. "The details of the severity of the injuries to others, she doesn't yet know about. But she will in time, when she's, you know, at a higher level of communication."
Of course, her political friends cannot be certain at this point whether Giffords will even decide to seek a fourth term in her Arizona congressional district. But Democrats in the state are looking for a strong candidate to run for the Senate seat of Republican Jon Kyl, who has announced he won't run for reelection in 2012.
"It's something she talked about [before she was wounded] but not something she talked about in any great detail," Wasserman Schultz told the New York Times. "When she does come back, she will go though the same process that everyone who considers running for higher office does."
On the Republican side, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has already announced he will be a candidate for Kyl's seat. Giffords had $285,501 cash on hand in her campaign treasury at the end of January, according to Politico, which first reported the fundraiser.
Folo Tom Diemer on Twitter http://twitter.com/tomdiemer
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