Opinion Brief

Gabby Giffords speaks: Her 'brave' first interview

Alongside her husband, the still-recovering congresswoman talks and smiles through an ABC interview. How did she do?

The video: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has given her first televised interview since being shot through the left side of her brain in January. Sitting alongside her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, Giffords talks to ABC's Diane Sawyer about her long recovery, lack of anger at alleged shooter Jared Loughner, hopes to become a mother, and vague plans to return to Congress when she is "better." (Watch a clip below.) In the interview, which first aired Monday night, the Democratic congresswoman speaks clearly but in halting sentences, using short phrases like "tough as nails," "living good," and "better, stronger." None of it seems easy, and after struggling with one phrase, Giffords admits, "Hard. Real hard." The ABC interview also includes video footage Kelly took to document Giffords' progress after the near-fatal shooting.

The reaction: Giffords is "brave and tough," says Rachel Ray at Britain's Telegraph. And even though the joint interview is partly to promote their new book, "any presumed ulterior motive quickly fades from thought as viewers watch Giffords struggle to remember words with her therapists, cry with frustration, then laugh, and even sing the Cyndi Lauper tune 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.'" It's clear Giffords "knows what she wants to say, but has trouble finding the words," says James King at the Phoenix New Times. And she doesn't really answer "the burning question": Will she return to Congress? There's time for that later, says Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic. For now, just watch the interview — though I'll be impressed if you can do so "without getting verklempt." Check it out:

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