Gabrielle Giffords Steps Down

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced today she is resigning her seat more than a year after the attack that nearly ended her life. After months of recovery nobody thought she would ever see a year ago, she will be leaving her office during a politically sensitive time, but she says she’ll be back. But if she’ll be back, then why is she leaving now? And how could this possibly be best for Arizona?
By stepping down now, Giffords is actually throwing her district into a leaderless void.

If the intention was for Giffords to take the time to recover before returning to politics full time, then why didn’t she step down months ago?

Now, as of Monday, Giffords’ Arizona district will be without representation and local democrats will be without a leader in an election year. All of a sudden Giffords’ district had a ton of questions to answer. Democrats need to find a new politician to run for Giffords’ seat in a real hurry. Republicans have no idea who they’re even going to be running against. Will Giffords return in time for the November election? Is she actually leaving politics for good? What happens to their seat in the mean time? Will it remain vacant until January? That’s a whole year from now.

No doubt the Giffords story is fascinating and inspiring, but if this was a leadership issue and about what’s best for Arizona, well her district would be better served by her staying on, even in a limited role at this point. Something is better than absolutely nothing.

It appears that perhaps Giffords may have lost the her luster as a political tool for Nancy Pelosi and other democrats to wield in the house or the senate. Better to go quietly and with dignity now than be ushered out by a failed attempt at landing the democratic nomination in her own district.

This may be better for Giffords in every way. There’s just no explaining how this is better for Arizona. And there’s no sense in selling it as such.