Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is focused on getting better right now, but is still considering a run for Congress in 2012, according to her husband Mark Kelly. However, if her injury prevents a reelection bid, Kelly said he doesn’t want to take her place.
“I don’t think so,” Space Shuttle Commander Kelly said, when I asked if he would run for the Arizona seat.
“No. I want her to get better. And my job is to make sure that she can recover so she can go back to her career serving her constituents in southern Arizona. So I’m working everyday towards that goal,” he said on “ GMA.”
Kelly said his wife “would like to run” in 2012, but hasn’t made a decision yet.
“She has some time and you know she has to do this on her own schedule and decide in her own way,” he said.
While Giffords recovers from a gunshot wound to the head, her staff and supporters are already laying the groundwork for a reelection bid. Kelly told his wife that she’ll know when it’s right for her to make that decision.
“She’ll know. She’ll know. I mean, she’s getting there. You know it all looks really positive. So we’re excited about that,” he said.
“She spends every day in rehab, eight hours a day and so we’ve got to proceed like she is going to take this step and run this next term,” Kelly told me.
Since the January shooting, Giffords has made one appearance on the House floor to cast her vote to raise the debt ceiling. And Kelly said his wife could return again in December to vote on the Super Committee’s plan.
“She pays attention to what’s going on. She reads the New York Times and the Arizona papers every day. And if we got into that kind of a situation, she’ll make the decision. I wouldn’t rule that out,” he said.
I spoke to Kelly the morning after Diane Sawyer’s interview, “Gabby and Mark: Courage and Hope,” aired. Kelly talked to his wife after she watched the special and said “she loved it.”
“She had a smile on her face the whole time. She really enjoyed it,” he said.
In their book, “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope,” out today, they write that Gabby’s recovery is in the top 1 percent for these types of injuries. Kelly said his wife has continued to make improvement, now speaking in full sentences. The next milestone will be paragraphs.
“Being able to say a complete sentence followed by another one. And we didn’t’ see that so much on the tape last night, but in the last month that’s starting to kick in some more and she continues to improve,” he said.
Watch my interview here: