Gabrielle Giffords took all attention at State of the Union. Although many spectators are awaiting Obama speech at SOTU 2012, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords still become the center of attention on that event. Details!!!!!
Gabrielle Giffords is center of attention at State of the Union
Both President Barack Obama and his State of the Union address had serious competition for the attention Tuesday night on Capitol Hill.
All eyes and minds were on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat from Arizona who was shot and seriously wounded last year in a shooting rampage in Tuscon. She announced her resignation last week, and her attendance at the Capitol tonight is one of her last duties before retreating to Houston to focus on her recovery and rehabilitation.
No one, not even the president, received bigger applause when arriving. Everyone in the room, Democrats and Republicans alike, rose from their chairs to applaud Giffords, and the ovation lasted for several minutes.
Another thunderous ovation broke out when the president greeted Giffords, who was seated on first row in a bright red suit, with a lingering hug.
During the speech, Giffords’ husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, sat in the first lady’s box above the House floor. He was seated between Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.
When the speech came to an end, she had as many people flocking her as the president did.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Houston, expressed admiration for Giffords’ decision to show up.
“She was an inspiration to be here tonight. She looked wonderful up close and personal as well,” Jackson Lee said.
Like many other congressmen, she considers Giffords to be a modern-day hero.
“Today I called her an American hero. We in Houston are very proud of her progress that she’s made, and we wishes her very, very much good luck and success.”
It is not the first time Giffords serves as a peacemaker between the two parties. Last year, several congressmen from both parties decided to sit next to a member of the other party as a gesture to her. This year, more than 180 congressmen joined the gesture.
In August, Giffords surprised everyone by showing up at Congress for the first time since the shooting rampage. She returned to cast a vote for the debt-ceiling deal.
Back then, her appearance united the Congress in ovation after several weeks of bitter fighting over the accord. Though it may only be for one night, her appearance at the president’s third State of the Union address tonight succeeded in doing the same. (Michellearrouas – chron.com)