Gabby Giffords Struggles Despite Comeback

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returns to the public eye this week, as she and her husband sit for an interview with ABC News and publish a memoir. But although she is undoubtedly doing better than anyone would have predicted after she was shot in the head earlier this year, she is not as improved as the media rollout may lead you to believe. As recently as last month, a friend tells New York, Giffords was struggling to express herself by phone, speaking in a shorthand such as “boo better.” And she’s not as much a presence in the ABC News interview as its advertisements suggest: she says a few words, but “it’s not a full-length interview,” according to a producer. The New York article focuses, in particular, on the enormous job of managing Giffords’s image. Before she was shot in Arizona, “she seemed as unscripted as a politician could be,” Steve Fishman writes. “But after the shooting, being Gabby Giffords, the person the public was clamoring for, was a job that required several people.”