Gabrielle Giffords’ backers acknowledge that they don’t want to get too far ahead of themselves … but that isn’t stopping them from daydreaming about the dramatic campaign commercials that would run, should Giffords recover and decide to make a play for Jon Kyl’s soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat. Several of her longtime aides are whispering about such a possibility, even quietly holding a fundraiser for her earlier this month to supplement her congressional campaign war chest; her former campaign manager has been brought back on staff.
Her potential Democratic opponents are doing a similar tiptoe act, the New York Times reports. Many of them—some of whom asked not to be named—said they don’t want to jump into the race unless Giffords makes it clear she won’t run. Of course, that allows the Republicans to get a head start on their campaigns, but some of the prospective Democratic candidates are lining up their own support—albeit quietly. If Giffords does run, political consultants from both parties agree she’d be the clear frontrunner. Says one Democrat, “We could do no better for a candidate. She’s beyond partisanship.” (Read more Gabrielle Giffords stories.)