Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) announcement that he won't run in 2012 gives the Democrats an unexpected shot at picking up his Arizona Senate seat. And the Democrat to beat, according to several reports, would ideally be Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She reportedly expressed interest in Kyl's seat before she was shot in the head, and "she ought to have the right of first refusal," a loyal Democratic source tells Talking Points Memo. Giffords is making a "miraculous" recovery, but is it at all plausible that she could run for Senate? (Watch a report about the Giffords speculation)
Giffords would be a "shoo-in": If Giffords "wants the seat, it's hers," says Valerie Richardson in The Washington Times. With "100 percent name identification and 100 percent sympathy from the public," as Arizona pollster Bruce Merrill notes, at least hypothetically there's simply "nobody who could beat her."
"Giffords is seen as shoo-in for Kyl's seat"
This is a "fairy-tale scenario": Giffords is recovering at impressive speed, but a 2012 Senate run is nothing more than "a remote possibility," says Nate Silver in The New York Times. An intense Senate campaign "would presumably require relatively full use of one’s mental faculties," and Democrats will almost certainly have to field a "weaker" candidate in this "somewhat Republican state." All things considered, their odds of taking Kyl's seat is "probably on the order of 20 to 25 percent."
"Under Tucson's shadow, Democrats to search for Senate candidate"
Let her heal in peace: Giffords may have wanted to run for this seat, says Karen Beseth in The Lonely Conservative, but let's face it — that was then. It's barely been a month since Giffords was shot in the head at point blank range, and all this Senate talk seems "a bit distasteful." Democrats should "just let the woman rest and recover."
"Gabrielle Giffords to run for Jon Kyle's Senate seat?"