During the 2010 elections, Arizona Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords’ district was placed in crosshairs on a map that Sarah Palin sent to her followers after Giffords voted for President Obama's health care reform bill (the affordable care act). Giffords’ name was listed below the crosshairs along with other Democrats who had voted for the health care bill. The headline on the map read, “We’ve diagnosed the problem. Help us prescribe the solution.” In addition to Giffords’ name on the crosshairs map, Palin posted this tweet to her Tea Party followers inciting "Commonsense Conservatives and lovers of America: Don't retreat, instead- RELOAD!" Days later, a vandal smashed the glass door of Giffords' Tucson office. Giffords' opponent in the 2010 election was 28 year old, Tea Party conservative and Iraq War veteran, Jesse Kelly. Kelly’s campaign held an event called "Get on Target for Victory in November." The event’s description: "Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly." Palin endorsed Kelly although he very narrowly lost the 2010 election to Representative Giffords. Soon after; Gabrielle Giffords was shot through the head and gravely wounded at a ‘congress on your corner’ event in Tucson. Giffords' father later told the media that members of the Tea Party "always threatened" his daughter. After a year of recovery where she had to learn to speak and walk all over again, this week Giffords announced her resignation from congress. The Tea Party’s wish is now fulfilled. Yesterday before giving his State of the Union address, President Obama made his way through the crowd and stopped to give Giffords a hug. It was an emotionally poignant moment that won’t soon be forgotten.
Obama Hugs Gabby Giffords by Gary Bedard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.