President Barack Obama calls Rep. Gabrielle Giffords “a needed voice that cannot return soon enough” to political discourse in a tribute he wrote for Time magazine.
Marking the Arizona Democrat’s inclusion on Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, advice Obama wrote that Giffords was not a household name before she was shot in January, ambulance but she has quickly become one for all the right reasons.
“The reason she has long been admired by people of all political stripes is that she embodies the best of what public service should be: hard work and fair play, hope and resilience, a willingness to listen and a determination to do your best in a busy world,” Obama wrote.
“As hard a battle as Giffords, 40, now fights every day, she’s got a strong partner in her husband, Mark Kelly, who visits her daily while training to command the space shuttle Endeavour,” he wrote. “And she’s got the prayers of a nation rooting for her, a model of civility and courage and unity — a needed voice that cannot return soon enough.”
Giffords is one of many political figures on the annual list, which also honors the president and first lady Michelle Obama. Also included from the Obama administration are Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petraeus and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. From Congress, three Republicans made the list: House Speaker John Boehner and Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, is on the list, as is Newark’s Democratic mayor, Cory Booker.
Some tributes to honorees are written by journalists and scholars, but others, like the one from Obama, come from big-name players.